A $51m NZ Transport Agency project to upgrade State Highway 1 (SH1) through Whangarei is gathering momentum with the agency set to award a tender shortly to construct the Kamo Bypass stage 2.
The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Northland, Tommy Parker, says the successful tenderer will be known at the end of March and construction is expected to start in April.
“There has been a lot of interest in the tender, and we’re keen on an April start so that we can deliver the benefits of the bypass to the people of Whangarei as quickly as possible,” said Mr Parker.
The total value of the project to provide a high quality connection between Western Hills Drive and the existing bypass north of Kamo Road is estimated at $24m, which includes construction costs and property purchases.
At the same time, the Whangarei District Council is extending Spedding Road to Tikipunga as part of the NZTA's partnership with the council to improve SH1.
Whangarei’s mayor, Stan Semenoff, said he was pleased was pleased to see such good progress on this very important project for the city.
“Two weeks after this tender is awarded, Whangarei District Council will close its tender for work on the Spedding Road extension which will enable traffic from Tikipunga and communities to the north-east of Whangarei to connect much more swiftly with SH1,” Mr Semenoff said. “This connection will improve traffic flows through and around the city, particularly along Mill Road and Hatea Drive, and is due to be completed next summer.”
Mr Parker said the Kamo bypass was one of several projects the NZTA and the council had planned over the next three years as part of the Keeping Whangarei Moving partnership which would deliver many benefits for the city and the province.
“The immediate impact of these projects will be the creation of jobs during construction,” Mr Parker said. “When they are completed the improvements will help manage growing traffic numbers, improve safety for both drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, and it will be easier and smoother for everyone to travelling in and around the city.”
Mr Parker said planning on the other SH1 improvement projects were also progressing well. The estimated cost of these works was $26.5m, but Mr Parker said this could fluctuate as designs were developed, contracts awarded, and properties bought.
The other works include:
Mr Parker said that the NZTA was continuing to work in partnership with the district council regarding options for Mander Park, including improvements to the park itself if trees there do have to be removed.
Improvements to Kamo Road/Kensington Avenue were completed earlier this year. They provide access for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and safer and smoother traffic flows.