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Project introduction

An 18km four-lane expressway takes State Highway 1 along the Kāpiti Coast is the first of the Wellington Northern Corridor projects underway. It separates local and highway traffic and delivers safer and shorter trips to and through the Kāpiti Coast - with local and national benefits.

Project updates

How you'll use the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway
Project posters, (PDF)

In summary – the big picture

  • Four interchanges
  • On and off-ramps heading north and south at Kāpiti Road and Te Moana Road
  • At Peka Peka – a southbound off-ramp and northbound on-ramp
  • At Poplar Avenue – a northbound off-ramp and southbound on-ramp (on-ramp due to open mid-year after a new roundabout is built at the top of Poplar Avenue)
  • Final finishing works through to mid-June 2017

    The Expressway is open to traffic but our teams will be around for a bit longer finishing things off around the local road connections with the Expressway and the interchanges – so you’ll still see some cones and traffic management around.

  • How to use the north and south ends of the Expressway – temporary routes

    There’ll still be some construction after opening. This work will be to finish some of the local connections around the Expressway, as well as wire rope barriers at the Expressway connection points. It was scheduled for after the road opened because of safety for road users and road workers, with less traffic around these local roads.

  • Connecting from Poplar Avenue to the Expressway and the existing state highway

    Poplar Avenue

    Once Poplar Avenue work is finished it features two roundabout connections for Expressway traffic exiting north and old SH1 road traffic getting onto the Expressway southbound on-ramp.

    The southbound on-ramp opened in late April but a lot of work is continuing through the roundabout area.

    This means STOP/GO traffic management from time to time and lots of switching around of traffic – so you’ll need to keep a close eye on our traffic management signage.

    It also means the top of Poplar Ave will be closed for up to two weeks starting 10 May at 10am. This is so the teams can work 24/7 on the two roundabouts. The alternative route will be through Matai and Raumati Roads. The closure area is shown on the graphic below.

    Poplar Avenue closures


    Cyclists travelling north past Raumati South need to head down the off-ramp and around the roundabout, before merging back onto the existing state highway north of the Poplar Avenue intersection.

    Speed limits

    The 70km/h limit that has been in place for the last few years remains through this area until works complete.

  • Driving north from Peka Peka

    Peka Peka map

    The roundabout at Peka Peka Road is now complete and operating.

    When it’s finished, the roundabout will connect Peka Peka Road, the local link road to and from the south and eventually the north-bound on-ramp.


Using the Expressway or the original SH1

People living and working on the Kāpiti Coast can now use the Expressway, or continue to use the original State Highway 1* to travel between the town centres and around the district.

The links on this page will take you to information about how the Expressway interchanges work with the local road connections and how traffic uses them to get on or off the Expressway at those points.

*Within two years of Expressway opening, the stretch of existing State Highway 1 between Poplar Avenue in Raumati South and Te Kowhai Road in Peka Peka will no longer be required to operate as a state highway. It will become a fit-for-purpose local road.

A regional connection

The design decisions about all the Expressway’s interchanges were made as part of the consent process before the construction work started. Those planning decisions had input from a range of stakeholders, including the Kāpiti Coast District Council, and were made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Board of Inquiry on the Transport Agency’s application to construct the Expressway.

Getting on and off

There are two places on the 18km Expressway route where traffic can get on and off in both directions. Local traffic can choose to use these interchanges (at Kāpiti Road and Te Moana Road), as well as the existing State Highway 1 route (which will become a local arterial road once the Expressway opens), for regional journeys.

Poplar Avenue and Peka Peka have partial interchanges. This decision was made largely due to the Expressway being designed to operate as a regional rather than a local connection. The decision also recognised that the existing state highway should become safer and more reliable for local traffic when the Expressway opens.

Another consideration was around managing urban development along the Expressway route. An assessment of traffic impacts was done as part of this process.

What is an interchange?

An interchange is a grade-separated intersection, usually where one road passes over another, with ramps to connect them. They’re designed to get you on and off expressways smoothly. Interchanges connect with key roads on the local road network and a lot of study and collaborative planning has gone into where these connection points should be. They help to get trucks and other through-traffic on and off local roads as efficiently as possible.

The Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway has four interchanges; two full and two partial. A partial interchange is where you can get off the Expressway in one direction, and onto it from the other. A full interchange is where you can get on and off in both directions.

The four Expressway interchanges

The four Expressway interchanges are located at:

You can also check out animated video guides to each interchange on our videos page.

A shared pathway

As well as providing a long-awaited connection for motorists, the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway has delivered a unique community asset that offers improved cycling, walking and horse riding facilities on the Kāpiti Coast. Find out more.