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Otaki to Levin

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has completed preliminary work on investigating improvements to the approximately 30km section of State Highway 1 (SH1) from north Otaki to north of Levin. This project is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, which has been identified by the Government as a road of national significance.

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Otaki to Levin..

Otaki to Levin.


Project purpose

We're now proposing a series of safety improvements along the existing State Highways 1 and 57. We found that this will deliver important safety improvements while also achieving the best value for money. We recently sent newsletters to those in the study area outlining our proposals and asking for feedback.

Our upgrade proposals for SH1 and SH57 are at an early stage and we welcome your input before we continue with any next steps. Public information days are being held on 1, 2 and 4 May.

What we considered

Although we considered a large range of route options, these generally fell into two categories; an expressway to the east or west of Levin, or to improve the existing road.

Our initial work has identified that the best option is to target improvements on existing state highways (SH1 between Taylor's Road and the Manawatu River Bridge, and SH57 between the intersection of SH1 and Potts Road) because this offers better value for money than building a new expressway away from the existing road.


Upgrading SH1 and SH57 between Otaki and Levin will improve safety for road users while ensuring we achieve the best value for money. The upgrade will also maintain efficient connections between the main freight hubs of Wellington (and the South Island) with regions to the north and east, such as Palmerston North and Hawke’s Bay.


Proposed features include installing more passing lanes, widening the existing highway road edges, installing median barriers (including wire rope barriers), making road edges safer by removing objects like lighting poles or filling in ditches, replacing old and narrow bridges, changing intersection layouts, improving walking and cycling opportunities and diverting sections of the highway.

Other facts

Constraints maps

One of the first steps for the Ōtaki to Levin project team was to identify constraints to help choose a possible route for an expressway between Taylor's Road and the Manawatu River Bridge. We developed seven constraints maps (PDF, 2.65MB) to help choose a possible route for an expressway between Taylor's Road and the Manawatu River Bridge.

What is a constraint?

A constraint is a factor that we need to consider when scoping possible routes. Something may be seen as a constraint for many reasons, including heritage, tangata whenua, ecology, landscape, hazards, land ownership and land use. All these factors will inform the project team and stakeholders in identifying possible expressway route options. It's important that we identify all constraints during the early stages of the project.

We have worked closely with key groups such as Horowhenua and Kapiti Coast District Councils, Horizons and Greater Wellington Regional Councils, Historic Places Trust, the Department of Conservation and tangata whenua to identify constraints.

You can see the constraints we have identified (PDF, 2.65MB).

Contact us

If you would like to get in touch with us, you can reach us via:

  • Email:
  • Post: The Ōtaki to Levin team, PO Box 5084, Wellington 6145
  • Phone: 0508 O2L INFO (0508 625 3646)