Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have turned the sod on the first section of the long awaited Pūhoi to Wellsford Road.
The Puhoi to Warkworth road will be a new 18.5km motorway between Auckland and Northland. It is the first section of the Pūhoi to Wellsford Road to get underway, one of the Government’s Roads of National Significance.
“Extending the Northern Motorway between Pūhoi and Warkworth will enhance inter-regional and national economic growth and improve the reliability of the transport network between Auckland and Northland,” Mr Bridges says.
“It will also support population growth, connecting the expanding Warkworth area which is expected to grow to 20,000 residents in the next few decades.”
The $709.5 million project is being delivered through a Public Private Partnership, the second for a state highway in New Zealand.
Progress is also being made towards starting the second stage between Warkworth and Wellsford.
“The NZ Transport Agency has been undertaking investigations and will be sharing an indicative route with the public early next year,” Mr Bridges says.
“Both of these projects will reduce the overall travel time between Auckland and Northland, bypassing town centres and avoiding State Highway 1’s current steep and winding route.
“It will also create a better freight connection for Northland to the Upper North Island freight “Golden Triangle” of Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga.”
The road is planned to be open to traffic in late 2021.
More information is available at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/ara-tuhono-puhoi-to-warkworth.