Over 1300 people gathered at the Warkworth Showgrounds today to celebrate the Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth project open day.
The day-long event included an exclusive bus tour which traversed the project alignment south to north, allowing locals and visitors to be one of the first to experience the newly constructed four-lane motorway being built alongside State Highway 1.
The day was officially opened with a karakia from project partners Hōkai Nuku before the project team answered questions about the safer, more resilient and reliable route between Pūhoi and Warkworth.
Adults and children alike were blown away to see how much progress had been made and there’s no denying people will have a truly scenic trip when the motorway opens next year.
“It’s great to show progress and bring the community along on the journey. We know everyone is keen to see the road open but there’s still work to do before this can be done safely,” says Brett Gliddon, General Manager Transport Services Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
“The public has seen first-hand today the massive scale of work that has already been completed, however the road needs to be safe and of a high quality before it can be fully open next year.”
“There is still earthworks, surface drainage, planting, kerbing and road surface to be placed. Quality and safety tests must also be completed so that from day one, motorists experience a smooth and safe journey, connecting them seamlessly between Northland, Auckland and the Upper North Island,” says Brett Gliddon.
The intersection for Auckland Transport’s Matakana Link Road is also being constructed as part of the project, which will provide a direct link from SH1 to Matakana Road. This is scheduled to open in tandem with the new motorway next year.
The motorway is being delivered through a Public Private Partnership (PPP). The Northern Express Group (NX2) consortium is responsible for the financing, design, construction and then maintenance of the motorway for the 25 years that will follow the build.
Under the terms of the Public Private Partnership arrangements, road opening can be confirmed once an independent reviewer is satisfied that all contractually agreed safety and quality assurance requirements and tests have been met. Building a road that meets these tests is the responsibility of NX2 and its subcontractor, Fletcher/Acciona joint venture.
Waka Kotahi, NX2 and Fletcher/Acciona are fully committed to working together to complete the project to the required safety and quality assurance standards as soon as possible and look forward to opening the motorway next year.