Draft preferred alignment identified for Otaki to north of Levin

5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 25, 2020

The NZ Transport Agency has announced the draft preferred alignment for the new Otaki to north of Levin highway, within the 300m-wide preferred corridor announced in December 2018.

The four-lane Otaki to north of Levin highway and shared path will make travel between Otaki and Levin safer and less susceptible to disruption. It will also increase transport choices and enable economic growth in the region.

Director of regional relationships Emma Speight says the NZTA is now eight months into an 18- to 24-month process of finalising the new highway‘s alignment.

“The process began with a long-list then shortlist of options that went through rigorous analysis. This compared potential effects of different options against a range of criteria including project objectives, environmental and social impacts, and ability to implement,” Speight says.

Technical specialists have conducted investigations in multiple areas such as ecology, heritage, social, noise, and engineering. This was done to assess options for where the new highway could be placed within the preferred corridor, as well as considering connection and local road options.

“We are in touch with property owners within the corridor and are meeting with property owners within the draft preferred alignment to discuss what this might mean for them and to seek their feedback,” Speight says.

“We‘d now like to share this work with the community and hear their feedback on the current plans. We greatly appreciate people‘s patience as we‘ve worked through this process.”

Following consultation and further technical work, the NZTA will consider refinements to the draft preferred alignment and work towards finalising the preferred alignment in late 2021.

The new highway has received $817 million from the NZ Upgrade Programme and is now due to be completed in 2029.

The NZTA is hosting a series of drop-in information sessions in Manakau, Ohau, Levin and Koputaroa over the next four weeks to answer any questions and give people the opportunity to give feedback.

This includes an information display at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-po (Levin Public Library) during library hours from 1 to 11 September.

Information and feedback opportunities are also now available on the website. Feedback will be open until 22 September.

Meanwhile, work is also continuing on a programme of safety improvements on the state highway network in Horowhenua.

In July and early August proposals for safety improvements on State Highway 57 were shared and feedback sought, with approximately 250 people attending local drop-in events.

“Our priority is to ensure we have a safer transport network free of death and injury. Our programme of works in the Otaki to north Levin corridor will enhance safety and resilience of the transport network and improve the transport experience for the community,” Speight says.

Drop-in sessions will be held at the following locations:

  • Monday 31 August, 2pm to 6pm, Manakau Bowling & Sports Club, 10 Mokena Kohere Street, Manakau

  • Tuesday 1 to Thursday 3 September, 10am to 4pm, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-po, 10 Bath Street, Levin

  • Saturday 5 September, 10am to 2pm, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-po, 10 Bath Street, Levin

  • Tuesday 8-Thursday 10 September, 10am to 4pm, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-po, 10 Bath Street, Levin

  • Saturday 12 September, 10am to 1pm, Ohau Hall, 14 Muhunoa West Road, Ohau

  • Tuesday 15 September, 2pm to 4pm, Koputaroa Hall, 399 Koputaroa Road, Koputaroa.

Please note the drop-in session venues have limited capacity when allowing for physical distancing, so feel free to pop in at any time within the session hours.

Public feedback and local knowledge can help ensure the new highway serves its community effectively. Find out more and have your say by coming along to one of the drop-in sessions or visiting NZTA‘s website www.nzta.govt.nz/O2NL-new-highway Please provide your feedback by 22 September.

If you can‘t make the drop-in sessions and would like to discuss the project further, please email O2NL@nzta.govt.nz or phone 0508 625 4636.