Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development
Regional roading projects that will improve safety and resilience are being brought forward as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.
As part of the NZ Upgrade, $300 million was allocated for regional investment opportunities.
“I spend a lot of time in the regions and one bugbear I consistently hear about is roads,” Shane Jones said.
“Officials from the Provincial Development Unit and the New Zealand Transport Agency have worked together to identify which roading improvements are ready to go but required funding.
“I’m pleased to announce $88.25 million on a major accelerated road investment plan with construction able to get underway on some projects by the end of August.
The North Island investment is about $62 million with seven projects selected from Northland, the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki.
“This investment is expected to contribute to regional economic development while providing safer roads, safer bridges, and easier to access stopping points.
“Roads play a critical role in enabling regional economic activity and several regions’ roading networks exist in challenging conditions.
“It’s great to be able to bring these projects forward, create new jobs and help our regions thrive,” Shane Jones said.
Notes to editors: The New Zealand Transport Agency will contribute $1 million for operational resource support to deliver the projects on deadline.
SH1/11 Kawakawa – Roundabout & Resilience Project $6 million
This project will replace the existing intersection with a roundabout at the intersection of State Highways 1 and 11 in Kawakawa. The primary benefit of this change is to improve safety and traffic flow. This intersection is a key connector on the Twin Coast Discovery Route which is included as a priority route in Te Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan.
SH 11/10 Intersection Puketona Junction Roundabout $15 million
This project is to build a roundabout at the intersection of State Highways 10 and 11 at Puketona Junction. The primary benefit of this change is to increase the level of road safety and improve traffic flow. The project is expected to indirectly contribute to Northland’s economic development plan through improved infrastructure attracting more visitors to the region.
SH 12 and Rawene Road – Intersection Improvements $500,000
This project will improve the State Highway 12 and Rawene Road intersection, to bring it up to current standards and accommodate additional right turning capacity. The intersection has a known crash history and the funding will improve its safety. The intersection is a key gateway for community and visitors accessing the Hokianga Harbour ferry. The funding will improve the reliability and resilience of the road and reduce disruption.
Bay of Plenty
SH 5 Tarukenga to Ngongotaha Improvements, SH 36 & SH 5 Roundabout $14 million
This project will improve safety and reduce congestion at the roundabout intersection between State Highways 5 and 36. The funding will be used to improve safety, ease congestion and enhance accessibility. The intersection is regularly congested during morning peak-hour traffic times. The programme of work also includes standard safety improvements along 8.1km of State Highway 5.
SH 2 College Road to Silverstream $13 million
This project is for vertical and horizontal curve realignment and the addition of a passing lane along a 1.7 km section of SH2 north of Waipukurau in Central Hawke’s Bay. It will improve the efficiency and safety of this key freight route between Hawke’s Bay, the Manawatū and Tairāwhiti and will improve the connection to Napier Port. This project will support regional economic growth by reducing travel times, improving access and efficiencies for moving people and goods along this key route.
SH 2 Tahaenui Bridge $1.2 million
This project will upgrade the Tahaenui Bridge on SH2 between Wairoa and Gisborne to allow two-lane travel. The funding will enable the bridge to be widened to two-way travel and will improve the roading network access and efficiency for those travelling between Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.
This bridge is currently the only one-lane restriction on the important link between Gisborne and Napier Port.
SH 43 Forgotten World Highway Improvements $13.4 million
This project will improve SH43, the Forgotten World Highway. The upgrades include safety improvements, passing opportunities, a single-lane bridge upgrade and culvert replacements.
The improvements will provide resilience for the Central North Island’s transport network, as an important alternative to SH 3 between Taranaki and the Upper North Island.
The Forgotten World Highway is promoted as a tourist destination.
PGF funded sealing of the unsealed section of the Tangarakau Gorge is expected to drive GDP gains into Taranaki of up to $45 million over 40 years.
The projects are forecast to increase visitor numbers to Taranaki by around 13,000 annually.