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Transit to apply for funding for Mangatawhiri

3 December 2004

Transit to apply for funding for Mangatawhiri Deviation

The Board of Transit New Zealand has agreed to apply to Land Transport New Zealand for funding of $43 million for the Mangatawhiri Bypass on State Highway 2 near Maramarua.

The 7.2 kilometre realignment will greatly improve safety by providing motorists with more passing opportunities and diverting through traffic away from Mangatawhiri township. Traffic volumes on the route are growing at 3-5 percent each year and the crash rate is 40 percent higher than the national average for highways of its type. The new route will run south of the existing road between the Mangatawhiri Bridge and the Maramarua Golf Course.

Transit acting regional manager Chris Allen said 3.2 kilometres of passing lanes in both directions meant half the new route would effectively be four-laned to expressway standard.

“Providing safe places for people to pass is an important feature of the project given the current lack of passing opportunities and the number of heavy vehicles that use the route. Congestion at Mangatawhiri is another major constraint and removing the state highway from the town will not only help traffic flow better but also make it safer and easier for people in the local community to move around the town.”

Other features of the project are a grade-separated intersection to link the new route with the existing road and to provide access to the golf course, guardrail improvements on the Mangatawhiri Bridge, a grade separated crossing at Bell Road and construction of a new local road to connect Homestead and Bell Roads.

Mr Allen said the timing of construction would now be considered alongside other major projects in Transit’s construction programme.

“Transit has a number of big projects underway or scheduled to start in the next year, particularly in the North Island. It’s important the timing of these projects is managed carefully to ensure the construction industry is given the best opportunity to tender for the work.”

The Mangatawhiri Deviation is part of a strategy to progressively improve safety on SH2 between its intersections with SH1 and SH25. The other projects currently being considered are the Maramarua Deviation, the Heavens Double Passing Lane and the Maramarua Highway Safety Improvements.

ENDS

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