Mt Messenger Bypass construction to begin following High Court win

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 1, 2022

Works are set to begin on the Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass, following this week’s High Court decision confirming consents for the project.

The decision was the latest legal judgment in favour of the 6km bypass that will replace the existing steep, narrow and winding section of SH3 through Mt Messenger in North Taranaki.

The Mt Messenger Alliance, charged with delivering the new bypass, will begin preparatory works this autumn, ahead of a start to main construction in spring.

Much of the early works will be centred around Te Ara o Te Ata’s environmental activities and will include the creation of access tracks for the project’s significant pest management programme.

Main construction will start at the southern end of the project, with earthworks and vegetation clearance. Preparing access to locations for the project’s tunnel and bridges will be a priority.

The bypass will run for approximately 6km between Uruti and Ahititi and include two bridges of approximately 125m and 30m in length, and a 235m tunnel. The construction period is expected to last 4.5 years.

“Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass will increase safety for everyone travelling into and out of North Taranaki,” said Waka Kotahi director regional relationships Linda Stewart.

“It will also be more resilient than the current route, standing up more effectively to the challenges posed by the local weather, ground and geographic conditions.

“Equally as important, the project includes a major environmental component to help us achieve our goal of leaving a lasting legacy in Taranaki, ensuring the project area is left in a better condition than before construction,” she said.

“Waka Kotahi remains fully committed to delivering this important project for the benefit of Taranaki and Aotearoa New Zealand, and we can’t wait to get started.”