Date set for ex­press­way open­ing

Upper Hutt Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - JOEL MAXWELL

Ladies and gen­tle­men, start your en­gines for the $630 mil­lion first sec­tion of the Kapiti ex­press­way.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges has an­nounced the of­fi­cial open­ing date for the Mack­ays to Peka Peka sec­tion of the ex­press­way, which will be on Fe­bru­ary 16.

Bridges said the open­ing would be four months ahead of the orig­i­nal sched­uled com­ple­tion date.

The ex­press­way was a $630m, 18km four-lane ex­press­way along the Kapiti Coast, north of Welling­ton, and in­cluded 18 bridges and 16 kilo­me­tres of walk­ing and cy­cle­ways.

Bridges said the early open­ing was a ‘‘great out­come’’ for the Kapiti Coast and the wider re­gion.

‘‘In just a few weeks’ time this con­nec­tion will open to de­liver smoother and safer jour­neys for ev­ery­one,’’ he said on Tues­day.

The com­mu­nity would be in­vited to a Kapiti Coast Ex­press Day which will be a chance for peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence the ex­press­way be­fore it was opened to traf­fic.

Pre­vi­ously it was re­ported that the road was hoped to be opened on or about De­cem­ber 22, but on­go­ing bad weather in Kapiti had put paid to that.

The cur­rent State High­way 1 would even­tu­ally be­come a se­ries of lo­cal roads, main­tained by Kapiti Coast District Coun­cil.

In Novem­ber, it was an­nounced that Fletcher Con­struc­tion had won the con­tract to build the $330m Peka Peka to Otaki sec­tion of the ex­press­way, start­ing in mid-2017.

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