Monday, April 22, 2024

$567m repair boost for damaged roads

The Government has announced a further $567 million to Waka Kotahi for immediate works on state highways in Tairāwhiti, Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay, Coromandel and Northland.

The funding will come from the $6 billion National Resilience Plan announced in May’s Budget.

“At Budget 2023 we established the National Resilience Plan to support building infrastructure that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change. At the time, we indicated that immediate focus would be on building back better from the North Island weather events earlier in the year,” said Minister for Cyclone Recovery, Grant Robertson.

“Over time, the plan will also address the severe infrastructure deficits that have held New Zealand back.

“We need to ensure that transport infrastructure is rebuilt quickly post the weather events, but also that they are built in a resilient way as increasingly severe weather events will continue to hit New Zealand.”

The investment is in addition to $525 million already provided to Waka Kotahi in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone.

“Connecting our communities is critical to getting our regions back on their feet,” the Minister said.

Minister of Transport, David Parker said that with almost all links now restored in cyclone- and flood-affected areas, many roads need to be made safer and more resilient.

“We need permanent solutions in places where Bailey bridges were put in to reopen river crossings. This extra funding will replace or strengthen and rebuild damaged bridges,” he said.

“It will also improve the road surface on major stretches of road where potholes and cracks left after the weather events have made travel slow and frustrating for locals.

“In addition to the funding for state highways the Government has already made a significant contribution to local road repairs, which are normally the responsibility of local government. This amounts to $210 million since February this year,” Mr Parker said.

Mr Robertson said the Government had been working tirelessly with agencies, councils and communities to recover and rebuild after this year’s devastating weather events.

“We will continue to support all affected communities as we build back better,” he said.

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