Members of the public will be able to have their say on the Warkworth to Te Hana motorway project around the middle of this year.
Auckland Council formally accepted the Notice of Requirement and resource consents application for the project last week, officially starting a consenting process that is expected to take 12-24 months.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) anticipates that Council will publicly notify the application and call for submissions within the next three months.
The estimated cost of the project is upwards of $2 billion, although funding is yet to be secured. It has a tentative construction start date of 2030.
There are a total of 91 properties along the designated route and the NZTA predicts it will cost $87 million to secure them.
NZTA senior manager system design Robyn Elston says the lodgement of the Notice of Requirement and resource consents is a major project milestone for NZTA.
“It’s the culmination of three years of project development which has included preliminary engineering design, site investigations, transport planning, technical assessments and engagement with partners, stakeholders and local communities,” Ms Elston says.
“The Warkworth to Te Hana transport corridor will be a significant piece of transport infrastructure and, once constructed, will provide a safe and resilient link connecting Northland communities and economy to the rest of New Zealand.”
The project is the second stage of Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Wellsford – stage one, between Pūhoi and Warkworth, is currently under construction.
The new 26km transport corridor, from the northern extent of the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway, will be west of and separate from the existing state highway, connecting back to SH1 north of Te Hana. The proposed route will travel west of the Dome Valley before crossing eastwards over SH1 near Wayby Valley Road and bypassing both Wellsford and Te Hana townships. The indicative alignment proposes three interchanges and an 850-metre-long tunnel below Kraack Road.
Ms Elston says it will provide a high quality, safe and resilient new route with improved gradients for freight movers and visitors that will connect safely with Warkworth, Wellsford and Te Hana townships. Currently, construction remains at least 10 years away and, if delivered in a single stage, will take five to seven years to complete.
The documents and more information about the project can be found at: nzta.govt.nz/projects/ara-tuhono-warkworth-to-wellsford/consent-applicationhttp://nzta.govt.nz/projects/ara-tuhono-warkworth-to-wellsford/consent-application
Copies of the application will be available at Warkworth and Wellsford libraries once the current Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.