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Purpose of this project
Improvements are underway on the safety and resilience of Northland roads. The NZ Transport Agency (on behalf of the NZ Government), the Northland Regional Council and other partners are working together to get the job done and to help ensure the growth of Northland.
- Extreme weather events and weak geology cause havoc with Northland's roads. Heavy rainfall can create slips around Kaeo, as well as raising river levels, and the area is prone to flooding. This means that during storm events, roads are often closed and traffic detoured. There are limited safe all-weather alternatives for traffic, which means detour routes can bring longer travel times and disruption for people and freight.
- The single lane bridge and its intersection with Whangaroa Road are a safety concern for the local community, visitors and other road users.
- Tourism is another important contributor to Northland’s economy and the Kaeo bridge is located on the Twin Coast Discovery Route, Northland’s main tourist route. The bridge is prone to flooding and doesn’t provide for pedestrians or cyclists, both of whom are important to the tourist economy. Also, during the peak visitor season, more traffic on the bridge creates delays for everyone.
The Kaeo project will improve the road, making it better able to cope during flooding, as well as addressing safety and capacity issues.
What’s important to you?
People in the community have raised the following issues:
- Cars travel too quickly along this road, we don’t want the new bridge to encourage people to speed.
- The intersection with Whangaroa Road is dangerous, we want that to be made safer.
The existing bridge will be replaced by a new, two-lane bridge and the road layout will be changed. The new road will be a smooth curve and the intersection at one end of the bridge will be upgraded, making it safer with a clear view of approaching traffic.
The new bridge will be higher – above predicted flood levels – and will have space beneath it in case of flooding.
The project will be designed to have minimal impact on the area. The proposed route is over land that was already cleared, and the new bridge will cross the Kaeo River without significantly changing the river bed, banks or flow.
Addressing these issues will help achieve a number of priorities identified in the Regional Land Transport Plan 2015, namely route resilience, economic growth and productivity, and road safety.
What is the process?
- We have developed an outline concept which will be turned into a concept design, your input will inform this process
- The project will be constructed through early contractor involvement. We’re tendering this now and the concept design for the bridge is being developed as part of this tendering process
- The design will be developed further and an Assessment of Environmental Effects produced
- Consents will be sought through the Northland Regional Council
- Construction is expected to start following approval of consents and property purchases.