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Mayor’s Invitation Draws Transport Agency Apology

Mayor’s Invitation Draws Transport Agency Apology

The NZ Transport Agency has apologised to Rodney District Council residents for delays to the $30 million Warkworth intersection upgrade project.

The apology came today in a presentation made to the council’s infrastructure committee by the agency’s northern highways manager Tommy Parker.

Mr Parker said that there was no doubt that the project was more complex than originally thought, and this issue was compounded by a lack of communication with the community.

He also regretted that the difficulties experienced on the site had spoilt what was a positive start to the project and a very good partnership approach with the Rodney District Council

That was about to be restored, he says.

He said the communication issue was being addressed and had improved markedly in the past month in keeping with a renewed collaborative approach on the project with council and community.

Mr Parker also announced that the Transport Agency will be considering calling for tenders for the Hill Street interchange. This would include the upgrade to Hill Street intersection and the signalisation of Elizabeth Street which Mr Parker predicted would be the most challenging of all the upgrades.

He says the retendering would not delay the start of the upgrade which is scheduled for October subject to consents being granted.

Mayor Penny Webster, who invited the NZTA to the committee and has been publically critical of the lack of progress on the project, says she is delighted with the tendering announcement.

She says the option to retender the project, which she had been asking for, had already been recognised by the agency by the agency and a fresh look may be needed ahead of the vastly more complex Hill Street upgrade.

“I think we are getting somewhere now. There is no doubt that this is a massive undertaking and it’ll be even more destabilising as we get into Hill Street.

“But we are now seeing some progress and, clearly, we as a community are being listened to,” she says.

ENDS

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