Green light for Manawatu Gorge replacement highway

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 27, 2019

The government has earmarked funding of up to $620 million for construction of the Manawatu Gorge replacement highway.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the initial funding of up to $100 million has been made available from a reallocation of funding by the NZ Transport Agency. The funding will enable construction to start quickly once the consent process is complete.

Twyford says the government is getting on with investing in vital transport infrastructure after nine years of neglect.

“It will restore a crucial transport link that supports the needs of locals and travellers through the region and boosts the economy across the lower North Island through to the East Coast.

“We‘re spending more than ever before in transport and there‘s more than 100 projects completed or underway under this government, with many more to come.”

Twyford said he welcomes the NZTA board‘s decision to reallocate funding while the Ministry of Transport evaluates options for Auckland light rail.

“It means we can crack on with other projects while we take the time to get a multi-billion-dollar game-changing infrastructure for Auckland right,” he said.

The NZTA has completed the preliminary concept design for the new road and is currently working through the consent process. Subject to resource consents, enabling works are expected to begin this year, and full construction is expected to get underway next year, with completion of the project expected in 2024.

As with other projects, the rest of the funding will be spread out in the next three-year National Land Transport Programme 2021-24 as the Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatu Tararua Highway project reaches key milestones.