The ribbon has been cut on the Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway, with the 13-kilometre stretch of road to be opened to traffic in phases from this evening and fully open by Friday.
Transport Minister, Kieran McAnulty said the expressway was the latest stage of the Government’s investment into Aotearoa New Zealand’s lower North Island transport network.
“Connecting with the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway and Transmission Gully Motorway, Peka Peka to Ōtaki will make it more reliable and safer for people and goods to travel through the lower North Island,” said Mr McAnulty.
“Peka Peka to Ōtaki provides people with a safer way to travel, more reliable travel times and less congestion at major pinch points north of Peka Peka. The continuous four-lane route also helps connect communities along the corridor, lets freight move more efficiently and bolsters the economy. Additionally, it creates greater network resilience in that another transport route is available to road users.
“The Government is upgrading New Zealand’s transport infrastructure to future proof the network for future generations to come, securing New Zealand’s economy and supporting our regions to thrive.”
He said delivering on projects such as Peka Peka to Ōtaki helps address the nation’s current infrastructure deficit, improve road safety, and meet future needs caused by population growth and climate change.
“Our road safety vision is an Aotearoa where no one is killed or being seriously injured on our roads. We’ve set an initial target of reducing the number of people dying or seriously injured by 40 percent by 2030. Achieving this target requires improving all parts of the transport system, including safer roads, vehicles, drivers and speeds.”
“Peka Peka to Ōtaki is built to the highest safety specifications and will provide a much safer route for road users. The new expressway will also see fewer vehicles transiting through the roads around Ōtaki, creating a safer environment for locals and visitors,” Mr McAnulty said.
The Minister said the new road was a testament to the huge effort from all involved in its construction
“I’d like to acknowledge the hundreds of people who have worked tirelessly to get this road finished in time for the holiday season. There were challenges along the way, such as bad weather and Covid-19 impacts that caused some delays. However, the team worked incredibly hard to overcome these setbacks and it’s fantastic to have the road ready for people to use,” Mr McAnulty said.
Government representatives, local councillors, iwi, stakeholders and community gathered to cut the ribbon today on the four-lane expressway.