Wellington is one year closer to the completion of the first section of the Kāpiti Expressway, which is the first stage of a comprehensive programme of State Highway 1 improvements that will deliver the standard of highway network that the region deserves.
NZ Transport Agency highways manager Rod James says the MacKays to Peka Peka section of the expressway has just celebrated its first anniversary of construction, and progress to date is phenomenal.
“A year after the first sod was turned, more than one million cubic metres of earth has been moved, but it’s much more than digging and bulldozing. This is one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced projects ever built in this country. Furthermore, it’s providing hundreds of jobs and boosting local businesses throughout Kāpiti.
“It may be three years before we cut the ribbon, but the benefits to the region are already accumulating. We have nearly 500 people employed on the project, rising to 600 next year, and this doesn’t count the jobs that have been created with our suppliers and through local businesses.”
Kāpiti Coast District Council Mayor Ross Church says, “Throughout this project we’ve been very fortunate to have a dedicated group of professionals on board who show a caring and respectful attitude to our community, always listening to the concerns of residents and responding appropriately.
“It’s also encouraging to see the employment opportunities created by the Expressway and the benefits for the district. Many of those working on the road and their families have moved to the area. As members of the community, these people have a vested interest in ensuring this new road works well for everyone in Kāpiti and those travelling here.”
Mr James says the project one of the largest environmental projects ever undertaken in New Zealand.
“We are creating new wetlands, growing a vegetation corridor of over a million indigenous plants, and improving ecological connections throughout the Kāpiti district. We are also protecting and enhancing waterways and creating new habitats for local wildlife.”
Mr James says construction is well underway on the new Waikanae Bridge, the largest of the 18 bridges that will be built along the projects 18km length, as well as a dedicated off-road pathway for walking and cycling. The project will also free up the existing highway and includes works to enhance this future local road, creating safer, more people-friendly town centres in Paraparaumu and Waikanae.
The project has also recently won the Site Safe Award for Innovation in a Large Organisation, recognising its commitment to ensuring the health and safety of its workers, visitors, and the community.
Mr James has commended the M2PP Alliance team for their outstanding work to date on the project.
“Not only are we privileged to have such a dedicated and innovative team, but they’re also a great bunch of people who really value being part of the community.”
Mr James also commended the community for their support and understanding over the last year, and to Kāpiti Coast District Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council, who have been working closely with the Alliance throughout to ensure the best outcomes for the community and environment.
Once completed, this section of expressway will provide the first of a number of major improvements to SH1 north of Wellington as part of the Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance. Together with Transmission Gully, the Peka Peka to Otaki section of the expressway, and the Otaki to North of Levin improvements.
The Wellington Northern Corridor will make journeys shorter, easier and safer between Wellington and the lower North Island, fostering better economic growth and productivity, and providing the standard of highway network that the Wellington region deserves.
For more information please contact:
Media Manager - Central
NZ Transport Agency
T: 04 894 5251
M: 027 213 7617