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Frequently asked questions

Updated: 21 February 2014

If your question is not answered here, please contact us.

SH1 heading north is frequented by volumes of both domestic and international tourists.
  1. Why is Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford a road of national significance (RoNS) project?
  2. Who is the Further North Alliance?
  3. What stage is the project at now?
  4. What is a designation?
  5. What is the indicative alignment?
  6. What does lodging the necessary documentation with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) mean and why does it need to be done?
  7. When will the Hill Street intersection be upgraded?
  8. Why is there no route north of Warkworth?
  9. Why don’t you improve the existing highway instead of building a new one?
  10. Why is the Warkworth access to the north?
  11. Will motorway ramps be provided at Pūhoi?
  12. When will you start buying properties for the new highway?
  13. Will you be building the Pūhoi to Warkworth section in stages?
  14. Will the new highway be tolled?
  15. When will construction start?
  16. Who can I contact about the project?

 

1. Why is Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford a road of national significance (RoNS) 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.

2. Who is the Further North Alliance?

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.

3. What stage is the project at now?

The Transport Agency’s proposal for a designation and resource consents for the Pūhoi to Warkworth stage has been notified by the EPA. A full copy of the lodged documents and opportunity to submit online is available at www.epa.govt.nz/resource-management/puhoi.

Public hearings are expected in early 2014 and a final decision expected in late 2014. Construction for this stage is estimated to start between 2015 and 2019.

4. What is a designation?

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.

5. What is the indicative alignment?

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.

For more information, the Environmental Protection Agency website is very useful as is the Ministry for the Environment website regarding Resource Management. 

7. 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 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 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 is expected later in 2013.

For more information about the SH1/Hill Street upgrade please see www.nzta.govt.nz/warkworth.

8. Why is there no route north of Warkworth?

For the second stage of the RoNS, the Warkworth to Wellsford section, a preferred route is yet to be identified. This will be further investigated following confirmation of the designation for the Pūhoi to Warkworth  section.

9. Why don’t you improve the existing highway instead of building a new one?

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).

10. Why is the Warkworth access to the north?

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.

11. Will motorway ramps be provided at Pūhoi?

Yes, a northbound off-ramp and southbound on-ramp are included in the indicative alignment design lodged with the EPA.

12. When will you start buying 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.

13. Will you be building the Pūhoi to Warkworth section in stages?

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.

14. Will the new highway be tolled?

Tolling continues to be considered as part of the Pūhoi to Warkworth stage of the project. 

15. When will construction start?

Construction of the Pūhoi to Warkworth section is estimated to start between 2015 and 2019. Completion of this section is estimated between 2020 and 2025.

16. Who can I contact about the project?

Please see the project team.