The $630 million Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway has officially opened, delivering a long awaited road to the Wellington region.
“This impressive piece of infrastructure has been a long time coming and after three years of construction, it’s fantastic to be delivering it four months ahead of the original scheduled completion date,” said Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
The 18km four-lane expressway stretches along the Kapiti Coast, and includes 18 bridges and 16km of walking and cycle ways.
“It has been an important project for the Kapiti and wider Wellington region, with more than $200 million contributed to the local economy through employment of local businesses and more than 5000 people having worked on the project.”
Bridges says the project will deliver a range of benefits, including shorter and more reliable travel times and significant safety improvements.
“Improved journey times to Wellington's port, CBD, interisland ferry terminals, airport and hospital will benefit the wider region. We know that transport is an enabler of economic activity so we need to continue unlocking key congestion points to get people and freight moving swiftly around the country.”
Bridges said the expressway also delivered a second, more resilient road network north of Wellington, an important feature in the wake of recent geological events.
He acknowledged those who had been involved in the build, including NZTA, contractors, local MP Nathan Guy, and former transport ministers Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce.
The official opening will be followed this Saturday by the Kapiti Coast ExpressDay, a community event to give the community a chance to experience the road before it opens to traffic in the next two weeks.
The Expressway is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, one of the Government’s Roads of National Significance, identified as key to economic growth.