The last of six projects to improve State Highway 1 through Whangarei will begin this month.
The upgrade of the Tarewa Road intersection with SH1 is part of the Whangarei Urban Improvements package to improve the state highway through Whangarei by easing bottlenecks and improving traffic flow, safety and cycling connections.
Downer Group has been awarded the contract as part of the Northland Delivery Framework. This is a new procurement model that is focused on growing employment in Northland and improving productivity.
Contractors will be on site by the middle of the month to establish site and commence early works. Construction is due to start on the $17m upgrade in September and should be completed in early 2020.
At the same time, the Whangarei District Council will upgrade two intersections on nearby Porowini Avenue – at Tawera Road and Maunu Road. The works will start and finish during the period of the SH1/Tarewa road upgrade.
The NZTA and the Whangarei District Council will work closely together to minimise the impact on traffic flows, says Chris Hunt, NZTA senior manager project delivery.
“The project has been planned to minimise disruption for all users. A joint approach has been developed with WDC and a more detailed management plan will be approved before work takes place.”
The Tarewa Road/Porowini Avenue intersection upgrade, starting this month, will provide an additional lane on both the Lower Tarewa Road approach and the western approach on Porowini Avenue.
A second project starting in December will upgrade the Maunu Road/Porowini Avenue intersection. The existing Porowini Avenue approach to this intersection is narrow and only allows one vehicle to exit on to Maunu Road at a time. The upgrade will include widening the bridge and the intersection to develop a separate left turn lane.
Hunt says the SH1/Tarewa Road project creates a safer intersection for all users.
“It recognises that there is a strong demand for people coming into Whangarei on Tarewa Road and creates enough capacity to allow this movement to happen safely. Widening the Otaika bridge on SH1 also creates an underpass which provides a missing link in the Whangarei cycle network – connecting the CBD with the Hospital and Northland Polytechnic.”