Funding Approved For SH1 Brynderwyn Hills Recovery And Enabling Works
Work on SH1 Brynderwyn Hills has been ongoing following Cyclone Gabrielle, which earlier this year caused significant damage to the vital connection between Auckland and Whangārei.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency can confirm that $61 million has been approved for recovery and enabling works for the immediate to medium term. This is to ensure that the key route can withstand future weather events and disruptions this coming winter and the immediate years to follow.
Works to date have focused on the short-term emergency response including temporary walls and retaining systems and restoring the route for people and freight, however additional repairs are now urgently needed to return the road to pre-weather event conditions.
Waka Kotahi is actively working with people in Northland on a way forward to ensure that this vital connection is safe and reliable. Conversations are underway with people who live in the area and use the route as well as businesses who rely on this section of SH1 to get goods where they need to go and provide services in and through Northland. This feedback will be considered to help inform our next steps.
Planning work is ongoing as Waka Kotahi and the community consider the best timing for critical recovery and enabling works. This will involve balancing the need to complete these works during the drier, warmer months while meeting the needs of businesses, people and the local community.
Steve Mutton, Director of Regional Relationships for Waka Kotahi, says the organisation recognises the impact any closure of SH1 Brynderwyn Hills will have on people.
“Closing SH1 is a big deal so it’s critical that we take more time to work with the people who will be the most impacted as we make plans.
“We welcome the formation of a new working group, led by NorthlandInc and supported by NorthChamber. These organisations represent a wide range of views including tourism operators and freight.
“Engaging with local people will ensure that we have a solution that fits the needs of the community, not only in the immediate term, but over the coming years.
“As we work through these decisions, front of mind for us is giving people ample notice so they can plan ahead. We are also very mindful of the condition of the rest of the network given recent weather events and the overall challenges Northland faces with soft soils that are hard to stabilise.
“As part of closure plans, we are carefully assessing the work needed to detour routes including working with our partners at the Northern Transport Alliance. We know it’s tough going a longer way around or expecting your customers to, so we will do what we can to ensure those routes are as high quality as possible,” says Mr Mutton.
These recovery works will enable the Northland connection for the immediate to medium term.
Alongside this Waka Kotahi remains committed to considering options for longer term resilience and investigations for SH1 Brynderwyns, including options suggested by the Northland community.