The NZ Transport Agency has awarded a contract to the Northern Express Group, which will finance, build, manage and maintain a new motorway between Pūhoi and Warkworth as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), at a net present cost of $709.5 million.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges said construction on the new 18.5km motorway would get underway before the end of the year, with the road planned to be open to traffic by 2022.
The new motorway will extend Auckland’s Northern Motorway on State Highway 1 from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels to just north of Warkworth, improving access for commuters and enabling more efficient movement of freight to key export markets.
“Improving this road is an important part of the Government’s commitment to supporting and increasing economic growth in Northland and providing a safer and more reliable link between Northland and the rest of the upper North Island,” said Bridges.
“The new motorway is also critical to Auckland’s success. Warkworth is designated as a key Auckland growth area so the road will provide strong transport connections to support future development in the area.”
The motorway will be New Zealand’s second State Highway to be delivered through a PPP, the first being the Transmission Gully motorway project in Wellington, which is expected to open in 2020.
Bridges said the Government would continue to consider PPPs for other large scale and complex transport infrastructure projects that could potentially benefit from the innovation and value-for- money achieved through this approach.