- Why is Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford a road of national significance (RoNS) project?
- Who is the Further North Alliance?
- What stage is the project at now?
- What is a designation?
- What is the indicative alignment?
- What does lodging the necessary documentation with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) mean and why does it need to be done?
- When will the Hill Street intersection be upgraded?
- Why is there no route north of Warkworth?
- Why don’t you improve the existing highway instead of building a new one?
- Why is the Warkworth access to the north?
- Will motorway ramps be provided at Pūhoi?
- When will you start buying properties for the new highway?
- Will you be building the Pūhoi to Warkworth section in stages?
- Will the new motorway be tolled?
- When will Pūhoi to Warkworth start construction?
- Who can I contact about the project?
The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford route has a strategic role connecting the Auckland and Northland regions and seeks to promote future regional economic growth as well as improve the safety of the route and help make journey times more reliable.
Infrastructure development is one of the government’s key planks for economic growth. This means the government is investing in infrastructure now to encourage future economic growth rather than wait until the strain on the network becomes a brake on progress.
The Transport Agency appointed the Further North Alliance in April 2013 to prepare documentation for the necessary approvals to build the Pūhoi to Warkworth section of the RoNS. The Alliance is comprised of the Transport Agency, engineering and planning firms Sinclair Knight Merz and GHD, and legal firm Chapman Tripp.
The Transport Agency’s proposal for a designation and resource consents for the Pūhoi to Warkworth stage is being considered by an independent Board of Inquiry. The Board heard submissions from the public between 7 April – 5 June 2014 and a final decision is expected in mid September 2014.
The area of land required to build the motorway. This includes the road and areas for earthworks, stormwater ponds, culverts, construction sites and other activities. View a map of the Pūhoi to Warkworth designation.
The current location of where the highway may be built subject to final confirmation at the detailed design stage. This will be within the designation. View a map showing the Pūhoi to Warkworth alignment.
6. What does lodging the necessary documentation with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) mean and why does it need to be done?
Lodgement for the Pūhoi to Warkworth section of the Road of National Significance involved providing the EPA with an official notice stating what land is required to build the motorway (also known as a Notice of Requirement). It also involved submitting to the EPA, the relevant reports such as geotechnical, erosion, soil, water, ecology and noise to show how any environmental effects may be avoided, mitigated or remedied.
There are no fixed dates at this stage as further investigation is required before construction of the Hill Street and SH1 set of intersections can begin. The reason for the investigation is to better understand how the traffic movements associated with the Pūhoi to Wellsford RoNS and Auckland Plan growth projects for Warkworth will impact the current design. This needs to be understood fully to avoid having to revisit works at a later date.
The Transport Agency and Auckland Transport is starting work this year on some interim improvements. For more information on the SH1 Warkworth Improvements project please visit www.nzta.govt.nz/warkworth.
Presently there is no indicative route or construction start date for this section. Once the designation and consents have been secured for the Pūhoi to Warkworth section, the Transport Agency will look to return to the Warkworth to Wellsford work completed to date and determine the next steps forward.
A new highway remains the preferred choice for a safer, more reliable regional connection between Auckland and Northland.
The new highway will have median barriers, smoother curves and easier grades for safer and enhanced travel and, by building it offline (away from the current state highway and other roads), there will be less overall disruption for the community, local businesses and traffic.
The costs of building offline are also very similar to building online – that is, on and around the current state highway).
To provide better journey time reliability and regional connection, a new highway bypassing Warkworth township is currently considered the best option.
This proposed access point to the north of the township also reflects feedback from the public consultation held in 2010 and further technical analysis. Newsletter 05 and Newsletter 06 provide more information on the project’s public consultation results.
Yes, a northbound off-ramp and southbound on-ramp are included in the indicative alignment design lodged with the EPA.
The Transport Agency has purchased some properties and continues to negotiate with others. Properties for construction are being secured on a case-by-case basis as funding allows and may continue after construction has started.
As the proposed indicative alignment for the Pūhoi to Warkworth section does not provide connection back to the existing state highway, the current intention is to build this section in one stage.
The Transport Agency will recommend to the Government that the Pūhoi to Warkworth section of the RoNS is tolled in order to optimise usage. Further work needs to take place to determine the amount and collection of any tolls in the future.
Construction of the Pūhoi to Warkworth section could start as early as 2016 or as late as 2019. It is estimated to take approximately five years to build the motorway and therefore completion would be between 2021 and 2025.
Please see the project team.