Safer journeys a step closer for Northland drivers

  • Simon Bridges

Work to improve the safety standard of a dangerous section of road in Northland has begun as part of a nationwide programme to improve regional roads.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges today visited the site of the $13m Akerama Curves Realignment Project on State highway 1, south of Kawakawa, where he announced that site preparation for this scheduled upgrade is underway, ahead of full construction beginning next month.

Under the Accelerated Regional Roading Programme, which offers $80 million in additional Crown funding, the realignment project has been sped up by five to six years.

“This project will provide safer and more reliable road journeys for Northlanders and reduce the risk of crashes by providing a straighter and more forgiving road alignment,” Mr Bridges says.

The project will include widening the current road layout, removing tight corners, extending the northbound passing lane and constructing a new southbound passing lane.

“Northlanders have made it clear that a safe, resilient road network, that caters for heavy transport and seasonal peaks is an absolute priority, and we have listened to that”.

Construction is expected to be completed in around two years.

Mr Bridges also visited the nearby State highway 1 Maromaku slip, where the $3.25 million repair works started this week. 

Work has now started on repairing the 70-metre section of road where flooding last July caused a significant slip, closing the highway for seven days and requiring a temporary route to be built. The work is expected to be completed before the start of winter.

“The Government has invested over $750 million dollars in State highway and local roading projects across Northland since 2008 and is committed supporting the economic growth of the region,” Mr Bridges says.