A mix of enthusiasm, frustration and bitterness was evident at a public information day held in the Warkworth Town Hall on March 2 to hear the latest news on the Warkworth to Te Hana motorway project.
Some celebrated the prospect of speedier and safer travel between Warkworth, Wellsford and Te Hana, while others, particularly those on or near the proposed route, lamented the loss or devaluation of their properties and a perceived negative environmental impact.
Although the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) believes construction is unlikely to start for another 10 years, it has refined the road’s indicative alignment in preparation for securing the necessary consents to build the road. Consents are due to be secured this year.
The indicative alignment travels west of Warkworth and east of both Wellsford and Te Hana with interchanges at all three towns to connect to local roads.
Visitors at the information day got the chance to view the indicative alignment on a tabletop model and speak to NZTA staff.
Changes to the first indicative route presented in 2017 include a revised Warkworth interchange and a new location for the “northern tie-in” where the new motorway reconnects with SH1 north of Te Hana.
The tie-in will now take place north of Maeneene Bridge.
For full details of the indicative route, visit nzta.govt.nz/warkworth-wellsford.
How the new motorway will connect …
Indicative Warkworth interchange
Indicative Wellsford interchange
Indicative Te Hana interchange
Those in favour ...
Peter Worral, Warkworth
It means it will be easier to get on to the motorway from Woodcocks Road, which is great. Whether I ever get to see it happen, of course, is another thing. It could be a long time.
Jim Hight, Algies Bay
I like that it takes traffic away from Wellsford and Warkworth by bypassing them. That’s good. I’d like them to get a move on with it.
Sarah Gordon, Falls Road
It needs to go ahead sooner. Look at the statistics that come out of Dome Valley now – fatalities, serious accidents. I can hear the sirens go off from where I live. The sooner they build this new motorway, the better.
Those against ...
Alec Rumble, Wellsford
It dissects my 100-acre farm clean in half. I’m not happy at all. We bought the place as a retirement block. I’ve got no problem with progress, as long as it does not affect me and my family, my income and my retirement.
David Mason, Kaipara Flats Road
We are going to be as close to the motorway as we are to Kaipara Flats Road. If we put our house on the market we would not get anything like its market value. We’re concerned about the noise and we are concerned about dust and vibration.
Dianne Civil, Warkworth
I’m very unhappy with this massive Warkworth interchange that is going to be built near the Mahurangi River. I think it’s going to be disastrous for river quality and river health. I would rather see improvements to the current SH1 and to public transport.