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Project introduction

A project to improve safety and efficiency for road users on the stretch of State Highway 16 between Brigham Creek and Waimauku in Auckland.

  • Project type

    Safety improvements
  • Project status


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About the project

Between 2010 and July 2019 three people were killed, and 29 people were seriously injured whilst travelling along State Highway 16 within the project area. Over a third of these crashes were caused by drivers losing control and running off the road or crossing the centreline and hitting an oncoming vehicle. This makes it one of the highest-risk rural roads in the country. 

This road is an important link for the local community, as well as providing resilience within the wider Upper North Island state highway network. Over 36,000 vehicles a day use the route between Brigham Creek and Kumeū, and over 15,000 vehicles are travelling between Huapai and Waimauku each day. Residential and business growth has increased and will continue to do so as the North West develops. This increases vehicle numbers and puts pressure on our network.

The project has been split into two stages. Stage one runs from Huapai to Waimauku and Stage two is between the Brigham Creek roundabout and Kumeū. We started on the section between Huapai and Waimauku where there are slightly less complexities and where half of the crashes were head-on. Work will start on this section while we continue to confirm aspects of the design for Stage two.

To make SH16 safer, we’re looking at making a number of improvements:

Stage one (Huapai to Waimauku):

  • Installing flexible road safety barriers to catch drivers who leave their lane before hitting something harder like trees, poles, ditches or other vehicles.
  • Widening bridges that are too narrow and making it safer to turn into Foster, Station and Factory Roads.
  • Creating a wider road shoulder so there’s more space for people who cycle.

Stage two (Brigham Creek to Kumeū):

  • Between Brigham Creek and Kumeū we are creating a dedicated shared path for people who walk and cycle to provide genuine travel choice.
  • Installing flexible road safety barriers to catch drivers who leave their lane before hitting something harder like trees, poles, ditches or other vehicles, except between Taupaki and Kumeū.
  • Adding extra lanes between Brigham Creek and Taupaki roundabout from two lanes to four (two in each direction) to make travelling along SH16 more efficient in the short-term.
  • Installing a flush median between Taupaki and Kumeū, which is a painted area in the middle of the road to give you more room and a safe place to wait before turning, while traffic can continue to flow.
  • Putting in a roundabout at the SH16/Coatesville Riverhead Highway intersection to help traffic flow better and make it safer to turn.

The focus of this project is to improve safety in the area which will improve the wider transport network’s efficiency. Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are investigating plans for the longer-term to address future growth, including in Auckland’s North West.

Read more about these long term plans(external link)

Project timeframes

Stage one (Huapai to Waimauku):

The design for Stage 1 (Huapai to Waimauku) is complete and this remains on hold due to the appeal on the Notice of Requirement. An Environment Court hearing was held in August 2021 and we anticipate a decision on this soon.

We are disappointed to not be able to progress Stage one at this time, however, we’ve been continuing the design for Stage two (Brigham Creek to Kumeū).

Stage two (Brigham Creek to Kumeū):

Stage 2 is progressing, with detailed design underway. Like the rest of New Zealand and other parts of the world, we are facing the challenges related to the impacts of COVID-19, a constrained labour market, supply chain issues and cost escalations. While design work has been taking place, we have secured additional funding to cover this rise in costs.

Once the design has been confirmed, we aim to lodge a consent application with Auckland Council in late 2022. At this stage, implementation is planned to commence in 2024, subject to land acquisition and alteration of our designation.

Updated timeframes are shown below.

Stage one: Huapai to Waimauku*

*Timeline is indicative only and subject to change.

Stage two: Brigham Creek to Kumeū*