Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will soon begin the next phase of the Waikare Gorge safety realignment project after securing $5 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for pre-implementation work.
The funding will support Waka Kotahi’s work to get the project ready for construction, including land purchase, consents, designation of the route, design and detailed geo-technical investigation.
The business case is currently being completed, which investigates preferred alignment options and how improved access and resilience of Waikare Gorge will help unlock the Tairawhiti region’s economic potential.
“The Waikare Gorge safety realignment project is an important project on State Highway 2 to make it safer and less likely to suffer closures,” Senior Project Manager Rob Partridge says.
“Whenever a section of State Highway 2 between Wairoa and Napier is closed, for whatever reason, it has a big impact on the ability of people to access services in Napier. The detour at Waikare Gorge is long and arduous, so a new road, with an easier journey through Waikare Gorge, will help unlock the greater region’s economic potential.
“We are currently finalising a preferred option for the realignment of Waikare Gorge. Our analysis will look at cost, resilience, tangata whenua values, and the environmental and social impact. We hope to announce a preferred option in the coming months.”
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