Motorway decision in limbo

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It could be another six months before property owners along the designated route for the proposed Warkworth to Te Hana motorway know how or if the road will proceed.

The National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) released today reveals that the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) needs this time to evaluate how all planned state highway projects are progressed to fit the government’s new priorities.

Following this evaluation, the Road of National Significance to Te Hana will be either completed as planned, altered or swapped for a lower cost option.

The current design for the motorway is estimated to cost more than $1 billion.

The total investment into state highways outlined in the programme is $3.5 billion, down 18 per cent from the last three-year programme.

Overall, the Government plans to spend nearly $17 billion on the national land transport system over the next three years.

The NLTP comprises $12.9 billion from the National Land Transport Fund, generated through fuel excise, road user charges, and other revenue sources; $3.4 billion from local government, generated through rates and Auckland’s regional fuel tax; and $557 million in other Crown investments.

Road safety has been given priority including a $33 million budget for road safety improvements in the Dome Valley.

In total, regional roads will receive $5.8 billion, a $600 million increase.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the government’s interest is in upgrading regional roads and public transport, as opposed to highway projects.

The Warkworth to Te Hana motorway was first announced in 2009 as one of seven Roads of National Significance to be completed under the then National government. An indicative route was due to be released earlier this year, but was put on hold pending this latest report.

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