The last of six projects to improve State Highway 1 through Whangārei will get under way in August.
The upgrade of the Tarewa Road intersection with SH1 is part of the Whangārei Urban Improvements package to improve the state highway through Whangārei by easing bottlenecks and improving traffic flow, safety and cycling connections.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has awarded the contract for the work, which is part of the Northland Delivery Framework, to Downer Group.
This is a new procurement model which is focused on growing employment in Northland and improving productivity.
Contractors will be on site by the middle of the month to establish site and commence early works. Construction is due to start on the $17m upgrade in September. The work is expected to be completed in early 2020.
At the same time as NZTA's SH1 and Tarewa Road project, Whangarei District Council will upgrade two intersections on nearby Porowini Avenue - at Tawera Road and Maunu Road.
"The NZ Transport Agency and the Whangarei District Council will work closely together to minimise the impact on traffic flows," said the agency’s Senior Manager Project Delivery, Chris Hunt.
“The projects have been planned to minimise disruption for all users. A joint approach has been developed with council and a more detailed management plan will be approved before work takes place on these projects that will greatly improve the capacity of these intersections and ease congestion in this part of the city.”
Council Chairman of Infrastructure and Services, Greg Martin, said Whangarei residents and visitors had seen the successful outcomes of many major road improvement projects in the past few years.
“The Mill/Nixon Street, Kamo/Nixon Street, Kensington/Western Hills Drive, SH1 and Maunu Road intersections, Riverside, Te Matau a Pohe, the Porowini roundabout, the four-laning along Western Hills Drive and the new intersection near the hospital and improvements to the SH1/SH14 intersection have generated very good results for commuters. Attention is now being directed to the southern entrance to the city. “
The NZTA will start preparatory work on the intersection of State Highway 1 (Otaika Road) and Tarewa Road and the Otaika Road bridge over the Raumanga Stream in the next month.
In late August Council will begin preparations for widening the intersection of Porowini Avenue and Tarewa Road, to ease congestion at this busy intersection that often has long queues in peak periods.
The upgrade will provide an additional lane on both the Lower Tarewa Road approach and the western approach on Porowini Ave and is programmed to finish in December.
At that time work will begin on the Maunu Road/Porowini Ave intersection which is currently narrow and allows only one vehicle to exit onto Maunu Road at a time.
The upgrade will include widening the bridge and the intersection to develop a separate left turn lane from Porowini Avenue on to Maunu Road and a new left turning lane from Maunu Road onto Porowini Avenue. The work should be completed in mid-2019.
“We have made steady progress at improving roads and intersections at almost all points of the compass around the city in the past decade and a half. Our drivers have been practical, negotiated delays during the work and enjoyed considerable improvements as a result. I anticipate it will be the same this time. By winter next year both the NZTA and Council will have resolved two more of our pressure points and we already have some other big projects lined up after that.”