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Significant Milestone For Warkworth To Wellsford Transport Corridor Project

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has completed the work necessary for a designation of land to be put in place for a future transport corridor between Warkworth and Wellsford.

Auckland Council has formally accepted the Notice of Requirement and resource consents application for the Warkworth to Wellsford project, officially starting a consenting process that is expected to take 12-24 months to complete.

Waka Kotahi Senior Manager System Design, Robyn Elston, says it’s a major project milestone for the Transport Agency.

“It’s the culmination of three years of project development which has included preliminary engineering design, site investigations, transport planning, technical assessments and engagement with partners, stakeholders and local communities.”

“The Warkworth to Wellsford transport corridor will be a significant piece of transport infrastructure and, once constructed, will provide a safe and resilient link connecting Northland communities and economy to the rest of New Zealand.”

The Warkworth to Wellsford project is the second stage of Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford. Stage one, between Pūhoi and Warkworth, is currently under construction.

The project provides for a new 26km transport corridor from the northern extent of the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway. It will be west of and completely separate from the existing state highway, connecting back to SH1 north of Te Hana. The proposed route will travel west of the Dome Valley before crossing eastwards over SH1 near Wayby Valley Road and bypassing both Wellsford and Te Hana townships. The indicative alignment proposes three interchanges and an 850-metre-long tunnel below Kraack Road.

It will provide a high quality, safe and resilient new route with improved gradients for freight movers and visitors that will connect safely with Warkworth, Wellsford and Te Hana townships.

Currently construction remains at least 10 years away and, if delivered in a single stage, will take five to seven years to complete.

The Notice of Requirement and resource consents application are an essential part of the planning process for new transport corridors. Waka Kotahi sets out the land required for the transport corridor and how it will meet statutory requirements related to construction, operation and maintenance of the road. Waka Kotahi is required to gain authorisations from those with regulatory responsibilities for the natural and built environments, culture and heritage and the conservation estate.

Waka Kotahi has published details of its application and supporting documents on its website and encourages people to look at them and ensure they’re fully informed. The documents and more information about the project can be found at https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/ara-tuhono-warkworth-to-wellsford/consent-application/

Copies of the application will be available to read in Warkworth and Wellsford libraries once the current COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Waka Kotahi anticipates Auckland Council will publicly notify the application and call for submissions within the next three months.

Keep up to date with:

· COVID-19 services update: nzta.govt.nz/COVID19

· Traffic updates: journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic

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