The NZ Transport Agency has awarded the contract for a range of intersection improvements at the Watchman Road/Meeanee Quay intersection on State Highway 2, Napier, to Higgins Construction.
The project involves the construction of a roundabout at the intersection, the widening and strengthening of Watchman Road, and the construction of a new road from Hawke’s Bay Airport to link to Watchman Road.
The $13 million dollar project is being jointly funded from the National Land Transport Fund, Hawke’s Bay Airport and Napier City Council. It is part of a $25 million package of road access improvements to Napier Port, announced by the Government as part of the Matariki – Hawke’s Bay Economic Development Action Plan, launched in July 2016.
NZ Transport Agency Highway Manager Wayne Oldfield says the work will improve safety at one of the North Island’s highest-risk intersections.
“There have been a number of fatal and serious crashes in this area, so the roundabout and improved airport access will provide a safer, more efficient intersection, with better access to both the airport and the Napier Port.”
“Watchman Road will become the new way to get to and from the airport, with the existing entrance retained for emergency use only.”
“We’ll also be linking the project to the existing cycling infrastructure, to ensure the finished project is suitable for all road users.”
The work is being carried out in an environmentally sensitive area, with the adjacent Ahuriri Estuary designated as a wetland of national significance.
“The team has worked hard with a wide range of stakeholders over the last 18 months to mitigate the effects of construction, and we’ll be ensuring the work has a minimal impact on local plant, bird and aquatic life,” says Mr Oldfield.
Physical work is expected to get under way in April, with the project scheduled for completion in June 2018.