Another major Hawke's Bay roading project is underway, following the official start of construction of the SH50A Hawke's Bay Expressway Southern Extension today.
Another major Hawke’s Bay roading project is underway, following the official start of construction of the SH50A Hawke’s Bay Expressway Southern Extension today.
NZTA Central Regional Director Jenny Chetwynd joined Minister of Transport Hon Steven Joyce and Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule this morning in turning the first sod on the $12m project, which will provide a safer and more direct route to the south of the existing expressway.
The expressway extension is the second major Hawke’s Bay roading project to get underway this October, following the start of construction earlier this month on the SH2 Matahorua Gorge Realignment south of Wairoa. Both projects were advanced by several months by the Government’s Jobs and Growth stimulus package.
Ms Chetwynd says the project will provide a significant economic boost for Hawke’s Bay by extending the expressway, the region’s key transport spine, enabling more efficient travel and providing a long-term transport solution that will support future growth and free up local roads.
“This Southern Extension provides the final connection of the expressway to the south, enabling an easier journey that will save time, petrol, and potentially lives. It will give motorists a clear run between York Road and Longlands Road, and will also remove the bottleneck at the intersection of York Road and Maraekakaho Road, which is a traffic choke point and crash blackspot.”
Currently the expressway comes down from Napier towards Hastings and then stops suddenly at York Road. Motorists then have to negotiate a zig-zag via Maraekakaho Road and two intersections before they get a clear run through to the SH2 connection.
The project involves a 3.2km greenfields route directly connecting the intersections at York Road and Longlands Road. There will be an upgraded ‘four-legged’ roundabout where the current expressway terminates and the new extension commences. The extension will continue southwards to a new ‘five legged’ roundabout with Longlands Road, Maraekakaho Road and the existing SH 50A Irongate Road will terminate on either side of the expressway with two new cul de sacs formed.
Ms Chetwynd says the NZTA is grateful to the local community and iwi, who have been supportive in getting the project to this point. The project has been designed by Opus International Consultants and will be constructed by Higgins contractors. It is due to be completed in 2011.
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