News from NZ Government
The $630 million Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway was officially opened this morning. It is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, one of the Government’s Roads of National Significance, identified as key to economic growth.
The 18km four-lane expressway stretches along the Kāpiti Coast, and includes 18 bridges and 16km of walking and cycle ways.
“This impressive piece of infrastructure has been a long time coming and after three years of construction, it’s fantastic to be delivering it four months ahead of the original scheduled completion date,” said Transport Minister Simon Bridges, who opened the expressway this morning.
“It has been an important project for the Kapiti and wider Wellington region, with more than $200 million contributed to the local economy through employment of local businesses and more than 5000 people having worked on the project.”
Mr Bridges says the project will deliver a range of benefits including shorter and more reliable travel times and significant safety improvements.
“Improved journey times to Wellington’s port, CBD, interisland ferry terminals, airport and hospital will benefit the wider region.
“We know that transport is an enabler of economic activity so we need to continue unlocking key congestion points to get people and freight moving swiftly around the country.
“The Expressway also delivers a second, more resilient road network north of Wellington, an important feature in the wake of recent geological events.
“I’d like to acknowledge everyone who has been involved in the build including the Transport Agency, the contractors, local MP Nathan Guy, who has advocated for this road strenuously over time, as well as former Transport Ministers Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce who have been integral to its progression.”
The official opening will be followed by the Kāpiti Coast ExpressDay, a community event this Saturday to give the community a chance to experience the Expressway before it opens to traffic in the next two weeks.
Mackays to Peka Peka quick facts
• 18 bridges
• 1.4 million new plants over 140 hectares, mostly locally sourced native species
• Over $200 million contributed to the local economy through employment of local businesses
• Over 5000 people worked on the project through its life
• 16km of shared pathway for cyclists, walkers and in most sections horses – that’s around 20,000 steps if you want to walk it
• 70,000 cubic metres of concrete poured, enough to lay a footpath from Wellington to Auckland
• 3.5 million cubic metres of earth shifted – that’s 102 rugby fields piled 5m high
• 14ha of wetlands created