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Accelerating Regional Roading in Central


Work is starting in the Central Region on two critical projects from the Accelerated Regional Roading Package.

Accelerating Regional Roading in Central

In June this year the Government announced a program of 14 regional state highway projects targeted for acceleration under the Accelerated Regional Roading Package. The Package is funded from the Government’s Future Investment Fund and does not divert investment from projects already priorities in the National Land Transport Plan.

These projects have been divided into three tranches, reflecting their state of progress at the time of the policy announcement:

  • Tranche One projects are ready to go, and up to $80 million has been allocated to accelerate construction of these projects.
  • Tranche Two projects have been allocated up to $120 million to finalise investigations and consenting processes, and to fund construction if the projects are approved.
  • A further $12 million will be available to accelerate investigation and design of Tranche Three projects.

There are five Tranche One projects across the country, identified by the Government as being critically important within their respective regions. Here in the Central region we have two of these projects.

North of Gisborne, a project to construct two new slow vehicle bays along State Highway 35 has just kicked off. This work will improve safety and freight efficiency at critical points on Panikau Hill and Wallace Hill on a route that carries much of the area’s forestry traffic. The project is expected to cost $1.2 million - $1.5 million and is due for completion in 2016.

On the other side of the North Island, the Normanby Overbridge Realignment in Taranaki is targeting significant safety gains. The project involves realigning State Highway 3 and removing a road-over-rail bridge, instead passing the rail line over the road. Construction will begin in January 2015 and, is expected to finish in 2016. The project is expected to cost 10 million - $15 million.

While construction on these two Tranche One projects is getting under way, the Transport Agency is also working hard to progress final investigation and consenting on four Tranche Two projects, and investigation and design on two Tranche Three projects:

Tranche Two

  • Whirokino Trestle Bridge Replacement (Manawatu / Whanganui)
  • Motu Bridge Replacement (Gisborne)
  • Opawa and Wairau Bridges Replacement (Marlborough)
  • Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge Corridor (Taranaki)

Tranche Three

  • Napier Port access package (Hawkes Bay)
  • Nelson Southern Link (Nelson)

We’ll share more stories about the progress of these projects in future editions of this newsletter. More information about the Package can be found on the Ministry of Transport website(external link).