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Speeding up work in South Auckland

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South Auckland is another step closer to a transport network with better and safer travel options, following Waka Kotahi lodging consents for the next stage of the SH1 Papakura to Drury project - part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP).

The consents for Stage 1B2 are the second application to the Environmental Protection Authority from this project under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act, which accelerates the consenting process. A panel will now be formed to consider the application.

Mark Kinvig, National Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Waka Kotahi says that this is another exciting delivery milestone for the project, and NZUP as a whole.

“More than $2.1 billion worth of NZUP projects are now under construction across the country. Penlink in north Auckland will get spades in the ground next month, the tender to deliver RiverLink in Lower Hutt is out to the market and consents have been lodged for the SH1 Ōtaki to North of Levin new highway.

“It’s great to see momentum continue to build for Papakura to Drury. The Stage 1B1 fast track consent was approved last November, this next stage is now lodged and there’s a huge amount of construction work. This includes one half of a new bridge opening and the second half taking shape, bridge works on a new Drury interchange, stormwater culverts being built under the motorway and works underway on the new Beach Road southbound on-ramp.

“The project is part of the Government’s $2.7 billion NZUP investment to provide growing South Auckland communities with more travel choices like safe walking and cycling paths, infrastructure for future bus services, improved rail access as well as greater safety, resilience and capacity of the highway network” says Mark Kinvig.

Stage 1B2 of the project will involve significant improvements to SH1, with replacement and upgrading of the motorway bridges across Otuuwairoa Stream (Slippery Creek), additional traffic lanes and a new shared path on the western side, including a shared path link across to Great South Road.

This stage was separated out for consenting purposes to allow appropriate time and consideration of the project’s impact on Oopaheke, an identified site of cultural significance spanning both sides of the motorway.

“This highlights our strengthening relationship with mana whenua, who we have been partnering with to ensure that we show respect and proactively limit the disturbance on this meaningful area” says Mark Kinvig.

Construction on Stage 1A has been underway for 18 months since beginning in April 2021 and construction of early works on Stage 1B1 began at Drury Interchange near the North Island Main Truck railway line.

Early works are underway at Drury interchange to build replacement motorway bridges that enable rail electrification between Papakura and Pukekohe, another NZUP project. Main construction works for the interchange will begin in late 2023.

Outside of NZUP, Waka Kotahi is also progressing plans to route protect stages two and three between Drury and Bombay to ensure there is land legally designated for the motorway improvements that will be required in the future. A Notice of Requirement will be prepared to alter the existing motorway designation to secure the route. Lodgement of this application is expected in 2023.

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