Trucking Industry Welcomes Huntly Bypass And Hastening Of Northland Roadworks
The opening of the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway has been welcomed by National Road Carriers Association (NRC), which represents 1,800 road transport companies collectively operating 16,000 trucks throughout New Zealand.
“The Huntly bypass will speed up travel and delivery times, improve productivity, reduce emissions and be safer,” says NRC chief executive David Aitken.
“This is the first motorway link between two New Zealand cities. For the first time it will be possible to go from Auckland to Hamilton on a motorway/expressway.”
Mr Aitken said the bypass will take high traffic volumes away from Huntly, making the town safer for residents. It will also take traffic away from Taupiri mountain, which is sacred to Waikato-Tainui Māori.
He praised Waka Kotahi – the NZ Transport Agency and its contractors saying the bypass had been built with minimal disruption to State Highway 1 users.
The Huntly section is part of the 102km four-laning of SH1 from Bombay to south of Cambridge, which will be completed when the 22km Hamilton section opens in late 2021. Once completed, the Waikato Expressway is expected to reduce travel times by 35 minutes between the Bombay Hills and south of Cambridge.
Mr Aitken also welcomed a statement by National Party leader Simon Bridges that a National Government would bring forward four-laning of State Highway 1 between Whangārei and Auckland.
Speaking at the Northland Field Days in Dargaville, Mr Bridges said National had signalled the work before the 2017 election but shortly after being elected the coalition Government put the plan on the back-burner.
The Government then announced $692 million on four-laning the road between Whangārei and Port Marsden Highway to Northport, as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced in the $12 billion infrastructure package. It was hoped the road would be finished by 2027 or early 2028.
Mr Bridges said National wanted to get it done more quickly than that and would bring forward the four-lane road to Te Hana from its scheduled completion date of 2030.
Mr Aitken said the four-laning of SH1 in Northland will open up the north economically, improve productivity and create safer roads. New four lane roads have significantly decreased road accidents, injuries and fatalities.