Stage one of State Highway 16 safety improvements set to start next week


Long-awaited and much needed safety improvements between Huapai and Waimauku can now get underway, following a decision from the Environment Court and a construction contract confirmed for the project.

This morning, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Te Kawerau ā Maki, Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara, Beca and Fulton Hogan gathered in Waimauku to bless the site, signalling the commencement of construction for stage one of this important safety improvements project in the northwest.

Between 2010 and mid 2022 three people were killed, 33 people seriously injured and several people sustained minor injuries while travelling along SH16 between Brigham Creek and Waimauku.

Almost a third of the crashes since 2020 were caused by drivers losing control and running off the road or crossing the centreline and hitting an oncoming vehicle.

Half of the head-on crashes occurred between Huapai and Waimauku.

Stephen Collett, Regional Manager Transport Services says that this project will help to prevent people being killed as well as reducing unnecessary harm on our roads.

“To keep everyone safe, we need everyone making safe choices, in safe vehicles, on safe roads and travelling at safe speeds. 

“Too many people are being killed and seriously hurt on New Zealand’s roads. Tragically, many of these deaths and serious injuries are the result of simple mistakes, and they can be prevented by creating a system that is more forgiving, where people don’t pay with their lives when someone makes a simple mistake.”

Over 15,000 vehicles travel between Huapai and Waimauku each day and to make this key corridor safer, stage one of this project will make a number of improvements, including:

  • Installing flexible road safety barriers to catch drivers who leave their lane before hitting something harder like trees, poles, ditches or other vehicles.
  • Installing four turnaround bays to enable safe turning movements along the corridor.
  • Widening bridges that are too narrow.
  • Creating a wider road shoulder so there’s more space for people who cycle.

The focus of this project is to improve safety in the area which will improve the wider transport network efficiency. More information about the project can be found here:

SH16 Brigham Creek to Waimauku

Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are also investigating plans for the longer-term to address future growth, including in Auckland’s northwest.

Background information

Stage two of the Brigham Creek to Waimauku project has been temporarily paused for a 6 – 12 month period in response to a significant increase in forecasted costs.

Material supply issues, labour shortages and rising inflation are contributing to increased project cost estimates, and further work over the following months is necessary prior to being able to confirm decisions about funding and scope.

Waka Kotahi remains committed to making our roads as safe as possible and as such is getting on with construction of stage one.