Skip to content

Access keys for nzta.govt.nz

  • h Home
  • m Menu
  • 0 Show list of access keys
  • 2 Skip to content
  • 3 Skip to top
m2pp banner alt

Project overview

Project introduction

An 18km 4-lane expressway that will take State Highway 1 along the Kāpiti Coast is the first the Wellington Northern Corridor projects underway. It will separate local and highway traffic and result in safer and shorter trips to and through the Kāpiti Coast - with local and national benefits.

  • Estimated project cost

    $630 million
  • Project type

    Roads of national significance
  • Project status

    Construction

Subscribe to updates

Purpose

The MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway project will deliver a key section of the Wellington Northern Corridor, a long needed upgrade of State Highway 1 north of Wellington.  This highway is a critical link to the lower North Island and key regional destinations becuase the existing highway does not serve its users well.  It has a poor safety record, is vulnerable to closures by storms and crashes, and drivers are often caught up in nose to tail traffic.

The upgrade is required to provide safe, efficient and reliable access to and from New Zealand’s capital and third-largest city.  It's needed to support expected residential and business growth throughout the Wellington region.

Benefits

  • Reduced congestion on local roads as traffic is transferred to the expressway

  • Shorter and more reliable travel times for expressway traffic by avoiding urban traffic lights and speed limits

  • Modern road design resulting in safer trips to and through Kāpiti

  • Improved access to Wellington's port, CBD, interisland ferry terminals, airport and hospital

  • Kāpiti residents and businesses the first to benefit from the Wellington Northern Corridor improvements

  • A second route and a more resilient road network in the event of crashes or natural disasters

  • More jobs and better access to jobs in Kāpiti  and beyond

Innovation in the way the project is being delivered, setting new standards for the construction industry in New Zealand and beyond. 

Key features

  • Two traffic lanes in each direction separated by a median safety barrier

  • 18 new bridges including a new crossing over the Waikanae River

  • Connections to local roads at Poplar Avenue (Raumati), Kāpiti Road (Paraparaumu), Te Moana Road (Waikanae) and Peka Peka Road

  • Safety improvements on many local roads in the vicinity of the expressway

  • An end-to-end shared pathway next to the expressway for pedestrians, cyclists and horses

  • Environmental protection and enhancement including 140 hectares of new planting and landscaping, creation of 9.5 hectares of new or restored wetlands and 1.4 million locally eco sourced plants

  • Archaeological investigations and monitoring over the life of the project

  • Delivery by an alliance that has brought together the best team for the job

  • New jobs and local procurement.

Related project information

Construction

It is taking four years to build the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway. 

  • Facts and figures
    • 16km of new 4-lane highway

    • Major upgrading of 2km of existing highway

    • 18 bridges

    • 3,500,000 m³ earthworks

    • 2,500,000 tonnes aggregate

    • 70,000 m³ concrete

    • 10,000 tonnes reinforcing steel

    • 140 hectares of landscape and wetland planting

    • 1.4 million locally eco sourced plants.

    Close

Construction innovations

  • World-first survey technology!

    A world-first innovation is the unique application of cloud-based Global Navigation Satellite System GNSS technology to achieve millimetre-accurate excavation. The technology has been around for a while. But M2PP Alliance and local sub-contractor Goodmans achieved a world first by aligning technology, produced by US-based company Trimble, with the internet and GNSS to give the project team – including the digger operators – a precise and real-time 3D picture of what’s being dug.   Such precision pays dividends, particularly as the project will move 3.5 million cubic metres of material. It means a safer worksite, the work gets done faster, and it’s much more cost efficient. 

    Close
  • Sharing live journey time info

    Blue tooth technology is being used to tell drivers how long it will take them, right now, to get from place to place on the Kāpiti Coast. 

    It picks up signals from vehicles as they pass sensors on the highway through Kāpiti.  These show how long its taking those vehicles to travel from one point to another – information that’s immediately available to other drivers at www.drivelive.nz\Kapiti (external link) .

    It means motorists can plan their trip according to driving conditions right now.  It also enables the project to keep track of traffic volumes and drive times past its works. This, in turn, means any potentially disruptive works can be planned for when traffic is lightest.  Remember only use this service when it's safe to do so - DRIVE SAFE

    Close
  • Earthquake protection

    The 18 bridges on the expressway will be among the strongest transport structures in the country.  All have been designed to withstand the combined effects of large (one in 2500 years) earthquakes and liquefaction. Many learnings from Christchurch have been considered, as well as international seismic design standards.

    Much of the evidence of the ground breaking innovation used is underground. As an example, the project has gone to great lengths to improve the ground at the bridges to stop liquefaction around the bridge foundations.  At the Waikanae River for example the piles of the new bridge are 3m in diameter and up to 40m deep.

    For more information you might like to check out these clips on our YouTube channel that show the team explaining what they’ve been doing:

    Close

More than just a road

We are not just building a new expressway. We also plan to leave behind better places and spaces by:

  • Respecting the past

    Archaeological investigations before and during construction are helping to piece together strong evidence of the importance of the Kāpiti Coast to Maori as a trading route and source of kai (food).  Huge middens (shell heaps) and cutting tools made of non-local materials are among the finds. Also, a giant totara log has been discovered in peat at the Peka Peka end of construction.  It has been given back to local iwi to be carefully dried and carved.

    Archaeological monitoring is happening throughout construction.  The project archaeologist and an iwi representative of Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai, which has tribal jurisdiction of the project area, are present whenever the project breaks new ground. All artefacts are sent to the University of Otago to be analysed, catalogued and photographed before being returned to iwi. More information on archaeology can be found in the supporting information to the Assessment of Effects (external link) .

    Historic photo 1: Wellington and Manawatu Railway bridge over Waikanae River. 1845-1893 (Levin, William Hort)

    Historic photo 1: North Coast, Cook Strait – from Horokiri Pass, Kapiti (1846) (Collinson, Thomas Bernard)

    Close
  • Respecting nature

    The MacKays Crossing to Peka Peka Expressway was planned and is now being built to tread as softly as possible on the natural environment.  Wherever possible, the natural environment will be enhanced.

    The project’s aim is a long-term corridor of native plantings that improves ecological connections with existing forest and wetland remnants.  It’s expected the local bird, lizard and native fish populations will grow as a result of landscaping and planting and the creation of new wetlands.

    The project’s environmental remediation and enhancement includes:

    • 140 hectares of new, locally sourced, primarily native plants – one of the largest planning projects ever in the lower North Island 

    • 5 hectares of new wetland for every hectare of wetland that is lost or moved because of construction

    • Relocating skinks and geckos to new, natural habitats before any construction 

    • Catching and relocating native fish before working in waterways, and designing bridges and crossings so that fish and other species can move freely 

    For more information on the planting programme view our video

    Close
  • Respecting communities

    Local communities played a huge role in planning for the MacKays Crossing to Peka Peka Expressway.  They continue to be involved during construction through a community liaison group, neighbourhood forums, events organised by the project team, site tours, an information centre, presentations, newsletters and the internet. Read more.

    Close

MacKays to Peka Peka Alliance

The MacKays to Peka Peka project is being built by an alliance made up of the NZ Transport Agency, Beca Planning and Infrastructure, Fletcher Construction and Higgins Group supported by Goodmans Contractors, Incite and Boffa Miskell.

  • What are the benefits of using an Alliance on this project?

    Alliance contracting has been used successfully to deliver complex and challenging major infrastructure projects around the world.

    Alliances are often chosen to build highly complex projects as they allow the partners to:

    • work on a number of areas at once, overlap different phases of a project and gain efficiencies through early constructor involvement

    • deliver major projects faster, using innovative approaches, and

    • work together to achieve the best transport and community.

    Close

Latest frequently asked questions

  • How will expressway bridges stand up to a major earthquake?

    Given that we have many fault lines in the Wellington region which all have the potential to produce large earthquakes, this is a very good question. The 18 bridges on the expressway will be among the strongest transport structures in the country.  All have been designed to withstand the combined effects of large (one in 2500 years) earthquakes and liquefaction. Many learnings from Christchurch have been considered, as well as international seismic design standards.

    Much of the evidence of the ground breaking innovation used is underground. As an example, the project has gone to great lengths to improve the ground at the bridges to stop liquefaction around the bridge foundations.  At the Waikanae River for example the piles of the new bridge are 3m in diameter and up to 40m deep.

    For more information you might like to check out these clips on our YouTube channel that show the team explaining what they’ve been doing:

    Bridges

    Foundations

    Close
  • What's been causing vibration at the Wharemauku Stream near Raumati over the past couple of weeks?

    From Monday 15 June for around two weeks we’ll be carrying out dynamic compaction at our site near the Wharemauku Stream. Dynamic compaction is a form of ground improvement that involves dropping a heavy weight onto the ground from a height. Energy from the weight hitting the surface causes the ground underneath to become more tightly packed. It's used to strengthen ground that's soft and sandy and therefore prone to liquefaction in an earthquake – exactly the ground conditions in this location. 

    You might hear a thud as the weight hits the ground and the ground may also shudder. This noise and vibration will be intermittent, but constant throughout the two weeks and are within the daytime limits permitted by our consent conditions.  

     

    Close

Our partners on this project

Top