Investment in the Hawke’s Bay land transport system during the 2021–24 NLTP is targeted at improving safety and resilience while supporting the region’s economy and forecast growth.
The region relies on the state highway and rail networks to both move goods to market, and provide critical connections to neighbouring regions. Local communities rely on these connections to access employment, education and other specialist services that are located in Napier and Hastings.
Reliable road and rail connections are particularly essential between Napier and Palmerston North to support the region’s economy. The Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway will support safe and reliable journeys between Hawke’s Bay and [mi[Manawatū/Whanganui[/mi], a key freight route linking Napier Port and the growing distribution centres in Palmerston North.
There is a growing need to reduce the region’s dependency on private vehicle travel to support carbon emission reduction. While public transport patronage is low at less than 1% of all trips, use of walking and cycling facilities per capita is above the national average.
While the existing transport system has the capacity to accommodate forecast growth, there will be pressure on the network, particularly surrounding the port from heavy vehicles.
During 2021–24 NLTP, we’ll be spending $214 million on maintenance for state highways and local roads.
The Hawke’s Bay has a poor safety record. The primary contributors are vehicles running off roads, speed, drug or alcohol impairment and people not wearing seatbelts. The focus is on making improvements in the Napier to Hastings urban areas, SH2 between Napier and Waipukurau and high-risk rural roads.
During the next three years, we will invest in making 132kms of state highways safer through infrastructure improvements and speed management to reduce annual deaths and serious injuries in the region by five.
This includes making improvements to 38kms of SH2 from Pakipaki and Waipukurau, the start on work to 12.4kms of SH51 from Napier to Hastings, and design and the start of construction on improvements to 82kms of SH5 from the Hawke’s Bay roundabout to SH2.
SH5 Napier to Taupō safety improvements include median widening and barriers from Esk Valley through to the Hawke’s Bay boundary with Bay of Plenty (Rangitaiki). A further programme of improvements is expected to follow in the 2024–27 NLTP.
Safety improvements will also be completed on SH51 from Ellison Street to Farndon Road, just north of the Clive township; and between Waipatu and Whakatu, a little north of Hastings.
Road policing and behaviour change programmes in the region will target alcohol and drug impairment, not wearing seatbelts and speed. A number of speed reviews are planned for the region.
On SH2, between Napier and Wairoa, 600m of the road is being relocated away from the Mohaka River as it is undermining the Raupunga Bluff.
Investigations are also underway regarding options to re-align SH2 at Waikari Gorge to improve safety, reduce risk of flooding and undermining of the road, and improve reliability of access for communities in the north of the region.
To help support economic growth, design work is underway for an upgrade of the SH2 Prebensen Hyderabad intersection including road reconfiguration and cycle path connection, which will be completed this year. This, along with the Napier Port Access business case and new Weigh Right facility, will improve access to the port and safety.
A spike in deaths and serious injuries on SH5 Napier to Taupō has prompted a business case to better plan maintenance, upgrades and renewals on this stretch of highway. This follows an increased programme of maintenance in the last year with a number of reseals to improve safety.
Resilience works will be carried out on the Palmerston North to Gisborne Line in 2021–24 to support freight connections. The Ormondville Viaduct will be strengthened, 12kms of track will be re-sleepered and track and civil infrastructure works carried out to reduce derailment risks and improve formation and drainage.
Other Crown investment in the region:
A large proportion of the region’s NLTP funding in 2021–24 will be used to maintain the state highway and local road network to ensure safe, reliable journeys through the region.