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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has chosen a route which follows the current state highway as the emerging preferred corridor for the SH1 Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway project.

The emerging preferred corridor will upgrade the current 22km state highway to four lanes (with some sections built on a new alignment to straighten out curves), with a separated walking and cycling path between Whangārei and Port Marsden Highway (SH15).

The project is part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s $6.8 billion investment to save lives, get regions moving and boost productivity in key growth areas.

Originally there were four shortlisted route options, but this was reduced to two for the October round of public consultation. The consultation showed a high level of support for Option A to straighten and upgrade the current state highway to four lanes with a separated walking and cycling path between Whangarei and Port Marsden Highway (SH15).

The second option, Option E, also proposed upgrading the existing state highway to four lanes with a section built to the west of SH1 to avoid the coastal marine environment at Oakleigh.

Waka Kotahi sought public feedback on both the urban section of the project between Tarewa Road and Toetoe Road and the two route options in the rural section between Toetoe Road and Port Marsden Highway.

Option A has been selected as the emerging preferred corridor as it

  • provides for a shorter and more direct route than the shortlisted ‘Option E’
  • makes the best use of existing transport assets (being the existing SH1 corridor)
  • will result in one corridor to operate and maintain, whereas Option E would allow local traffic on a section of road through an area with safety and resilience issues
  • supports a shared path adjacent to the upgraded corridor which will provide a shorter and more direct route for pedestrians and cyclists.

Feedback received from over 300 people throughout October showed support for upgrading the existing highway and a strong desire for improving safety and protecting the environment. Public engagement on the emerging preferred corridor is planned for early-2021.

Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray says the preferred corridor will be confirmed through the development of the business case which is due for completion mid-2021.

“The width of the emerging preferred corridor currently varies between 25 – 250 metres and will be refined over the coming months through ground investigations, landowner consultation and design work.”

“The design of the road within the emerging preferred corridor is at a very early stage of development. Design details including the form of intersections, access points and location of the shared path are still to be decided.”

The SH1 Whangārei and Port Marsden Highway upgrade is part of a wider programme of improvements to improve safety, access, and reliability between Whangārei and Auckland that includes:

  • Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth project (under construction)
  • Warkworth to Wellsford (consenting phase)
  • Improvements to the State Highway 1 (SH1) and Loop Road (SH15) intersection and SH1 and Portland Road intersection (under construction)

Together, these projects aim to improve safety, build greater resilience into the transport system, and improve the connection and access to Northland.

SH1 Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway project page

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme

The Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway project is part of the wider Whangārei to Te Hana programme, aimed at building more resilient transport connections between Northland and Auckland. NZ Upgrade Programme funding is specifically for the Whangārei to Port Marsden Highway section of the Whangārei to Te Hana programme. Further funding will be required to progress the Port Marsden Highway to Te Hana section.

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is investing $6.8 billion in transport to save lives, get our cities moving and boost productivity in the country’s growth areas. Waka Kotahi is delivering 20 projects that support a shift to greater transport choice with a balanced investment in public transport, new or upgraded roads, walking and cycling.

The programme will play a vital role in helping to stimulate the economy and support the country as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. Five projects worth $2.4b are nearing construction and all 20 projects will be under construction within five years.

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