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Waka Kotahi refutes false claims about Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is refuting claims that the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway north of Auckland is ready to open to traffic, and says suggestions that Waka Kotahi is ‘holding up’ the road opening are entirely false.

“Waka Kotahi wants to see Pūhoi to Warkworth open as soon as possible. Under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract for this project, the timing of the road opening is decided by the Northern Express Group (NX2), the private consortium which is responsible for the finance, design, construction, management and maintenance of the motorway. The road can only open after all of the contractually agreed safety and quality assurance requirements have been met. Building a road that meets these tests is the responsibility of NX2 and its subcontractor, Fletcher/Acciona Joint Venture.

“The road is not open yet for the simple reason that the physical works have not been completed by the contractor, and the required independent quality assurance and safety tests have not been carried out,” says Brett Gliddon, Waka Kotahi Acting Chief Executive.

Only after all construction work has been completed can the contractually and legally required independent quality and safety assurance checks be undertaken to allow the road to be opened for use by the public.

Based on current progress Waka Kotahi anticipates that NX2 and their subcontractor Fletcher/Acciona Joint Venture will be in a position to open the road in the second quarter of 2023.

Waka Kotahi, NX2 and Fletcher/Acciona are fully committed to working together to complete the project to meet the required safety and quality standards as soon as possible and look forward to opening the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway next year.

Significant progress has also been made on Auckland Transport’s Te Honohono ki Tai – Matakana link road, which will support the significant population growth expected in the area and improve network resilience in Warkworth. The link road will be completed in early 2023, and will open in tandem with the new motorway later in the year.