Part of the Penlink Road has already been built – it is the first 1700m of the 5km Ara Weiti access road that developers built into Weiti Bay from East Coast Road.
As part of its resource consent, the developer of Weiti Bay – a consortium of local and offshore companies – was required to build the road into its site.
The Ara Weiti road took two years to build and was completed in 2018, at which point it was handed over to Auckland Transport, which was responsible for Penlink at the time.
In January, the Penlink project was handed over to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), as it is being developed as a state highway.
Manager and part-owner of the Weiti development, Evan Williams of Williams Group, says difficult terrain and “geotech challenges” meant the Ara Weiti road was not a straightforward build for Heb Construction. It was also costly, coming in at more than $30 million. AT contributed $2m.
“We did have to build it, but we were also sick of waiting for Penlink,” he says.
“Auckland Transport (AT) made it clear that the road had to be built to a particular standard, bearing in mind it would form part of Penlink, and so it is two-laned, future-proofed for four lanes.”
“AT also contributed to the cost, in a minor way,” Mr Williams says.
The road was obviously a vital link for prospective purchasers of land in Weiti Bay.
“Until it was built we were using 4-wheel drives to take clients in to see the sites and asking them to ‘imagine’ the road,” he says. “There will be an interchange at East Coast Road, which will give residents in our development direct access to the motorway.”
He says part of the deal was that the Weiti section of the road will remain toll free – but details about the tolling are still being worked out by NZTA.
The road leads down into the 90ha Weiti Bay development, behind Dacre Cottage, where 80 percent of the 150 sites (1500sqm-2000sqm) have currently been sold.
The next stage to be developed is behind Weiti Bay.