Safer journeys thanks to Meeanee Overbridge
EMBARGOED TO 11AM THURSDAY 1 NOVEMBER
TRANSIT NEW ZEALAND NAPIER REGIONAL OFFICE
1 November 2007
Quicker, safer journeys thanks to Meeanee Overbridge opening
Lines of traffic backed up at the intersection of the SH50 Hawke's Bay Expressway and Meeanee Road will be a thing of the past after the Meeanee Overbridge was officially opened to two-way traffic this morning.
Minister of Transport Hon Annette King joined Transit Acting Chairman Bryan Jackson and the Mayor of Napier Barbara Arnott in cutting the ribbon to mark the full opening of the overbridge to traffic. The overbridge is a major milestone towards the completion of the Meeanee Interchange project.
"This interchange is one of a number of state highway projects planned for Hawke's Bay, all of which indicate the Government's real commitment to transport in this region and in other provincial regions," said Annette King.
Construction began on the $8 million Meeanee Interchange Project in December 2005, and the project is on track for completion on time and on budget in December this year.
Transit acting regional manager Errol Christiansen said the opening of the overbridge offers immediate benefits to motorists.
"By separating traffic on the Hawke's Bay Expressway from local traffic using Meeanee Road it will significantly reduce congestion and improve safety."
Errol Christiansen said the Napier City Council and the local community have been incredibly supportive and patient throughout the two years of construction.
Following today's ribbon cutting, a procession of vintage cars was driven over the bridge by members of the Hawke's Bay Vintage Car Club donned in traditional art deco regalia, complementing the art deco-inspired sunburst panels on the bridge. The bridge was then opened to two-way traffic for the first time.
Local school students and community groups were involved in the development and design of the sunburst panels, and the winning design was selected by members of the local community.