Emma Speight, NZTA director regional relationships, addresses regional mayors, iwi and industry in Palmerston North.
The NZ Transport Association says it has had a busy start to the year. Last week its project team met with regional mayors, iwi and industry to discuss the process used to assess the four short listed options. Some of the discussion focused on the need to have robust analysis of the long-term economic benefits of the options. This analysis is being undertaken and the findings will be considered in the decision-making process.
The joint working group of local body representatives, NZTA, regional economic development group Accelerate25 and other interest groups had its regular meeting recently. The group resolved to present its findings on regional connectivity to the wider group of mayors, iwi and industry no later than 16 February.
NZTA say they are still on track for a decision on a preferred route in the first quarter of 2018.
New slips in the gorge
There have been further slips at Kerry’s Wall and the ANZAC slip site in the gorge in recent weeks. Kerry’s Wall is still moving rapidly, with new slip material on both sides. It is estimated about 1000 cubic metres of new material around Kerry’s Wall has fallen on to the road, and around 60 cubic metres at ANZAC slip. An updated monitoring report is expected in the next couple of weeks.
Road works and mitigation measures
The Saddle Road upgrade project is continuing this year as NZTA complete the road works at the summit and various major repairs along the road. Work will also continue on the extensive maintenance work on the Pahiatua Track.
NZTA will install speed cushions in Ashhurst on the streets that run between Cambridge and Salisbury Streets. Realignment work near Woodville is hoped to start in March. There will be some delays as work is done on the two corner realignments, but once completed, NZTA say they will make the journey safer and more efficient.
Work is also continuing on preliminary designs for a temporary bypass in Ashhurst as well as property negotiations to make this happen.
Speed cushions in Ashhurst
Information on road works on the alternative routes, the Saddle Road and the Pahiatua Track, is regularly updated on NZTA’s regional Facebook page www.facebook.com/nztacni/