More uncertainty over Otaki to north of Levin project

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 22, 2018

Motorists and property owners are feeling frustrated following news the Otaki to north of Levin (O2NL) project is being re-evaluated.

The NZ Transport Agency recently released the draft Transport Agency Investment Proposal (TAIP) that sets out their investment approach and proposed programme of activities across all modes of transport for the next 10 years.

The draft TAIP was guided by the new priorities and strategic direction set out in the Government‘s draft Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport, released in April this year. This signalled a new direction for land transport investment in New Zealand and will strongly influence which projects and programmes of work NZTA progresses, and when.

The O2NL project is one of several that have been identified in the draft TAIP as requiring re-evaluation to better align with the draft GPS.

NZTA has promised a further update once the project has been re-evaluated, which is expected to be in two to three months.

A spokesperson for NZTA says they acknowledge that the current lack of certainty is a cause of concern and frustration for many communities and people affected by the project.

“We remain committed to working closely with communities, property owners, central and local government, and other key stakeholders, to deliver solutions that meet transport needs now and for the future.

“In the meantime, we will continue to progress safety improvements to State Highway 1 between Levin and the Manawatu River. The current proposed safety improvements for this section of SH1 include realignment of SH1 at Waitarere Curves and provision of northbound passing lanes to the north and south of the Waitarere Curves. We have committed to discussing and co-designing these proposals with the local community and iwi.”

In addition, NZTA says the Safe Roads Alliance will be investigating what improvements can be undertaken to the southern section of State Highway 57 between Heatherlea East Road and SH1. These may include safety barriers, rumble strips, wider centre lines and wider shoulders. Any planned improvements will be discussed with the community.