The NZ Transport Agency says it has taken a significant step towards the completion of Auckland's Western Ring Route by announcing that it has awarded the contract for the $220 million Causeway Upgrade Project on State Highway 16 (Northwestern Motorway).
The successful proposal was submitted by a consortium comprising Aecom, Coffey Geotechnics, Fulton Hogan, Leighton Contractors and Sinclair Knight Merz. They have been joined by the NZTA to form the Causeway Alliance.
The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says the announcement follows a rigorous evaluation of three quality proposals from competing consortia.
The successful consortium has worked together with NZTA and community stakeholders to ensure it is able to deliver the right outcomes and with the best value for money," Mr Parker says.
The Causeway Upgrade Project is part of the Western Ring Route road of national significance. Together with the neighbouring Waterview Connection project and upgrades of the Lincoln Road and Te Atatu Road interchanges on SH16, it will complete a 47 kilometre-long motorway alternative to SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The project includes several key features:
The Causeway Upgrade Project runs through the Motu Manawa - Pollen Island marine reserve and Mr Parker says that after an extensive trial last year, special measures will be used to ensure that the "construction footprint will be as environmentally light" as possible
"We recognise that this is an important and sensitive area and getting the right approach and methodology has been important preparation for the Causeway Upgrade Project," he says.
The construction site has officially been blessed by local iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki and Ngati Whatua, at a dawn ceremony marking the symbolic start to the project. Enabling work is underway and construction on the upgrade itself is due to start in the middle of the year. The upgrade is due to be completed in late 2016.
There will significant benefits for drivers when the Causeway Upgrade Project and other works linked to the Western Ring Route are completed, Mr Parker says.
"For the first time, there will be direct motorway access between the CBD and Auckland International Airport, and the Western Ring Route will also connect commuters and freight with the rapidly growing areas in the north-west and south west of the city."
Mr Parker adds that the Western Ring Route will also benefit the Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty regions.
"It’s a key part of a massive investment in infrastructure in Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty needed to meet the demands of rapid economic and population growth underway in the top half of the North Island," he says.
For more information on about the project visit: www.nzta.govt.nz/sh16causeway(external link).
Roads of National Significance
As part of the Western Ring Route, the Causeway Upgrade Project is crucial to supporting growth in Auckland and improving transport links between the city and the economic centres of Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty.
The Western Ring Route – the Causeway Upgrade Project and the adjacent Waterview Connection project to link the Southwestern and Northwestern Motorways (SH20 && 16) - is part of the NZTA’s roads of national significance programme (RoNS for short), which represents one of New Zealand’s biggest-ever infrastructure investments. Once completed, the seven RoNS routes will reduce congestion in and around our five largest metropolitan areas, and will move people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently.
Other RoNS are:
More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons