Why is Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford a road of national significance 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 improving the safety of the route and making 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.
What stage is the project at now?
The project is divided into the five stages shown in the diagram on the project overview page. The project team will now move into stage 2 – preparing reports for consent.
What is the status of the preferred route between Puhoi and Warkworth?
The preferred route for the Puhoi to Warkworth section of the RoNS will now be developed as part of reports for designation and consent applications.
How was this route developed?
The preferred route is based on further engineering work and assessments following the release of the indicative route in 2010. This has been considered alongside feedback received during the two-phase consultation process, and the final route is not dissimilar from the indicative route
Why no route north of Warkworth?
Options for progress the Warkworth to Wellsford route are being considered as part of a wider strategy to identify a long term programme of improvements for the entire SH1 between Auckland and Northland. A new highway entirely separate to the current state highway remains our preferred choice to improve the safety and reliability of the state highway network between Warkworth and Wellsford for motorists, freight and tourism.
At this stage it is too early to release an indicative route for this section and a target start date for construction has still to be established
Why is the Warkworth access to the north?
We believe that the proposed access point best meets the needs traffic to and from Warkworth and that travelling out to the settlements on the coast like Snells Beach, Matakana, Omaha and Leigh.
The proposed access provides easy and direct access into Warkworth along the existing state highway and keeps motorway traffic away from both Mahurangi College on Woodcocks Road and Warkworth School on Hill Street.
When will the Hill Street intersection be upgraded?
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 Puhoi to Wellsford RoNS will impact the current design. This needs to be understood fully to avoid having to revisit works at a later date. The NZTA is also working with Auckland Transport to coordinate work on Hill Street with other projects planned in the area. Further information regarding the next steps are expected later in 2013.
For more information about the SH1/Hill Street upgrade please see www.nzta.govt.nz/warkworth
Will motorway ramps be provided at Puhoi?
Following extensive community feedback and further discussions with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, a northbound off-ramp and southbound on-ramp will be included in designs submitted with the Notice of Requirement (NOR) and resource consent applications for the Pūhoi to Warkworth section. Objections and support of this decision can be made submitted during the upcoming planning process.
When will you start to buy properties for the new highway?
We have purchased some properties and are in negotiations with several others. We are working to secure property for construction on a case-by-case basis as funding allows. This may continue up to and beyond 2014 as construction and property purchase may be staged.
Will you be building the highway in sections?
The investigation phase of the project will determine how the new highway is going to be built. Opportunities for building the highway in sections rather than one complete new road will be explored. As the whole project is a new highway any sections will need to connect back to the existing road in the short term.
Will the new highway be tolled?
Ongoing investigations include considering tolls as a source of funding towards the construction of the highway. If these investigations find that tolling can provide a viable source of funding, this may enable the NZTA to build the road sooner than using public funding alone.
When will the construction start?
Detailed design and construction is the final phase of the project where you will see work out on the road.
When detailed engineering plans are drawn up, contractors are able to start work. Detailed design and procurement is proposed to start once consents and a designation are secured. It may be possible to stage this work so sections can be opened at different times – these opportunities will be examined during the investigation phase.
Who can I contact about the project?
Please see the project team.