SH43 Funding Another Win For Economic And Tourism Growth
This morning Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones announced that a further $13.4 million will be spent on improving State Highway 43 (SH43) the ‘Forgotten World Highway’.
Stratford District Mayor, Neil Volzke says the $13.4m funding announcement is great news for the Taranaki region, and comes on top of $9.6 million already promised to seal the 12km unsealed stretch of road through the Tangarakau Gorge.
Mayor Volzke says, “We have been lobbying for these road improvements for many years and a better, safer road will be welcomed by all motorists.”
The upgrades include safety improvements, passing opportunities, a single-lane bridge upgrade and culvert replacements.
“We’re pleased Minister Jones has supported our view and given the green light for this future work,” says Mayor Volzke.
“It’s a satisfying outcome and one that will make our district and the whole of Taranaki much more accessible for tourists, and facilitate a major boost to the local economy as a result of increased visitor numbers”.
The Forgotten World Highway is a well-known and popular tourist destination and it’s estimated that these combined improvement projects will increase visitor numbers to Taranaki by around 13,000 annually.
In a statement from the Minister, the improvements will also provide resilience for the Central North Island’s transport network, as an important alternative to SH3 between Taranaki and the Upper North Island.