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NZTA decline link-road freebie

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A Mahurangi resident is offering to give his land to let NZTA build a bypass of Warkworth to reduce the backlog at the Hill Street intersection. It is the latest in a string of proposals that have come from local residents frustrated with the lack of progress on projects to reduce congestion in the region. Mr Endean’s farm, just north of Valerie Close, lies between SH1 and the designation for the new Puhoi to Warkworth motorway. He has put forward a proposal to NZTA to let them build a road through his land to link the motorway to SH1. He says the motorway could be completed from the Warkworth end first and the new road could create a temporary bypass of Warkworth and the Hill Street intersection. “It’s just for the satisfaction of seeing common sense brought to bare on the chaos at Hill Street,” Mr Endean says. “I can’t stand the misery of it any longer. If nothing gets done, Warkworth will grind to a halt.” NZTA and Auckland Transport have decided they will wait until after the new motorway is constructed in 2022 before making any improvements to the Hill Street intersection or building new link roads. Mr Endean says the proposed road would mostly traverse flat land, but would require a bridge over a tributary of the Mahurangi River. “They are doing most of the route already. It only requires this connecting road to be built.” The land is zoned as Future Urban in Auckland Council’s proposed Unitary Plan and is likely to be developed in 10 years time. “It will break up my farm, but in the longer term it’s inevitable the area will be developed. Why not do it now?” But, NZTA has rejected the proposal. Auckland and Northland highway manager Brett Gliddon says a temporary bypass would still take years to plan and construct and could not be included in the motorway project at this late stage. “While the suggested proposal offers private land, this land would still need to be formally designated to construct the motorway and resource consents obtained for any potential environmental effects,” Mr Gliddon says. “A temporary bypass would still take some years to plan and construct before it could be operational, therefore it is unlikely to provide significant time savings or benefits compared with the complete project.” The preferred consortium for the motorway construction is expected to be released next month with the contract awarded in October. Mr Endean has also sent the proposal to local MPs and to the Prime Ministers office and has been told it will be considered by Prime Minister John Key. It’s the latest in a series of traffic projects which have been developed by Mahurangi residents. The Warkworth Liaison Group is pushing for NZTA to commit to designing a solution, which it believes may need to include both traffic signals and traffic islands. “The Minister needs to put funding towards this design as soon as possible,” group member and retired roading engineer, Roger Williams, says. He is pleased to see residents like Grant McLachlan putting forward solutions. He says the two traffic island idea is one of many that NZTA needs to evaluate.

Bill Endean’s land, shown in blue, lies directly between SH1 and the new motorway designation. The red line shows the proposed road.

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