Highway two steps closer
Wellington is two steps closer to a new highway route connecting the capital with the lower North Island.
The first sod was turned last Monday, marking the official start of construction of the 16km McKays to Peka Peka section of the expressway.
NZ Transport Agency has also announced the consortium with which it will enter into preferred bidder negotiations for the Transmission Gully highway project.
The two projects will connect just north of Paekakariki as key components of the 110km Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance.
Transport Agency chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said the McKays to Peka Peka Expressway was a key infrastructure project that would not only provide an improved highway route through the Kapiti district, but would also increase safety, reduce travel times and improve journey time reliability between the Kapiti Coast and Wellington.
The road was expected to be open to traffic by 2017.
Mr Dangerfield also announced that the Wellington Gateway Partnership had been selected as the preferred bidder for the 27km Transmission Gully project.
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett has welcomed the preferred bidder announcement.
It paved the way for the council to begin discussions with the Wellington Gateway Partnership consortium on a contract to build the city’s link roads to the highway, he said.
‘‘I am very pleased NZTA has been able to reach this decision,’’ Mr Leggett said.
‘‘The earlier the contract negotiation phase can be concluded, the sooner work on constructing the highway can begin.
‘‘ My council is looking forward to starting discussions with the consortium on a contract to build roads that will connect our city to the highway via Whitby and Waitangirua.’’
Hard work: Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee turns the first sod on the McKays to Peka Peka section of the expressway.