The NZ Transport Agency says heavy winter rains mean the first stage of Warkworth's State Highway 1 improvements between Woodcocks and Whitaker Roads will now be completed by the end of August.
“The delay is regretful but unfortunately we can not control the weather,” says the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland, Tommy Parker. “The heavy rain in June and July has played havoc with our timetable and has stopped works that must be done when conditions are dry.”
Remaining work includes the installation of traffic signals at Woodcocks Road, pavement construction, and landscaping
Mr Parker says improvements already in place have been thoroughly tested by the wet weather.
“We are happy to report that the new water and sewerage work completed as part of the project stood up terrifically in the heavy rain.”
The August completion date does not include construction of bus turning facilities outside Mahurangi College, a separate project that does not involve the NZTA nor its contractor.
Mr Parker says the design has been finalised and council consents approved for the next stage of the improvements – the installation of traffic lights and upgrade of the intersection of SH1 and Hudson Street. Work is due to start in the summer when negotiations regarding properties are completed.
The NZTA is continuing consultation with the community and finalising detailed design of the McKinney Road improvements.
“The big challenge with this stage is the need to shave two or three metres off SH1 to give drivers a clearer and safer view ahead,” says Mr Parker. “There’s a lot of excavation work involved and we need a long dry spell to complete this work.”
Mr Parker says the NZTA is continuing its internal review of the Hill Street design in light of the change is circumstances due to the proposals for the Puhoi-to-Wellsford road of national significance and its impact on Warkworth.
“Our focus remains completion of stage 1 so that we can give the community the full benefit of these improvements,” adds Mr Parker.
For more information on the SH1 Warkworth improvements please visit www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/warkworth(external link)