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Northern Gateway Toll Road opening date announced

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The NZ Transport Agency today announced that the SH1 Northern Gateway Toll Road will open on Sunday 25 January 2009, some two months ahead of schedule.

The NZ Transport Agency today announced that the SH1 Northern Gateway Toll Road will open on Sunday 25 January 2009, some two months ahead of schedule.

This is the second stage of the Albany to Puhoi route on State Highway 1.  It will provide motorists travelling between Auckland and Northland with a more direct and safer route for getting to their destination.

“As well as enabling motorists to bypass the usual congestion spots, the 7.5km Northern Gateway Toll Road features reduced gradients, smoother curves and clear sight lines, which means it is safer for travel at motorway speeds,” said Wayne McDonald, the NZTA’s Auckland/Northland Regional Director.

The Northern Gateway Toll Road will be New Zealand’s first fully electronic toll road.

There are no toll booths on the road.  Instead, an image of a vehicle’s licence plate is taken and automatically reconciled against account or payment records. 

The benefit of electronic tolling was that drivers could pay at their convenience rather than interrupting their journey, said Mr McDonald.  Electronic tolling was also proven to provide the lowest cost of collection overall, he added.

Motorists can pay in advance or within three days of using the road.  The NZTA said the best way was to set up an account by ringing 0800 40 20 20.  Those who would rather pay as they go can also do so by free phone or at cash payment points located at SH1 BP Connect Dairy Flat [northbound] or  SH1 Titford’s Bridge on the left after the Puhoi turnoff [southbound].

The toll tariffs on opening day will be $2 for cars and light commercial vehicles, and $4 for heavy vehicles.  There were no additional charges for trailers or caravans.  There was no toll for motorcycles.

Other free routes are available for motorists who do not wish to use the toll road, the NZTA said. 

The main free alternative route was through Orewa and the Hibiscus Coast Highway.  The other alternative was SH16 connecting Northland with west and north Auckland.  Signage would clearly indicate the options for motorists, and the NZTA would continue to actively inform motorists about their range of travel options between Auckland and Northland, especially during peak holiday periods.  

“The Northern Gateway Toll Road will also bring a range of local and regional benefits, including reduced holiday congestion through Orewa; better connection between the Orewa township and the beach; as well as supporting the economic development and well-being of Northland and Rodney District,” Mr McDonald said.

Using tolling to help cover the cost of construction meant that the NZTA was able to begin building the road well before it could have been built with traditional funding alone.

“The decision to toll the road was based on community support for bringing forward its construction through tolling, as reflected in the outcomes of consultation and survey on the toll proposal in 2004,” Mr McDonald said. 

“When the debt is repaid, the toll will be removed,” he added.

Over the past four years, the NZTA and its partners in the Northern Gateway Alliance have been highly successful in meeting the challenges of the project and in achieving early competition of its construction.

“The overall result is that motorists will be able to enjoy the benefits of this new road much sooner than would otherwise have been possible,” said Mr McDonald.

“With an opening date of January 25, the Northern Gateway Toll Road will be open in time for people to use when they return from holiday on Auckland Anniversary Weekend, Mr McDonald added.

For more information about the Northern Gateway Toll Road or toll payment options visit www.tollroad.govt.nz(external link) or phone 0800 40 20 20.


For more information please contact:

Ewart Barnsley
Stakeholder & Communications Manager - Auckland
T 64 9 368 2142  
M  64 27 213 7616   
F  64 9 368 2059
ewart.barnsley@nzta.govt.nz

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