Wednesday, May 29, 2024

O Mahurangi Penlink to be toll road

Transport Minister, Michael Wood has today announced the Government decision to toll O Mahurangi Penlink to ensure future annual maintenance costs are met for the new road.

“The Government recognises the importance of this transport corridor and funded the construction through $8.7 billion of capital investment from the New Zealand Upgrade Programme,” said Minister Wood.

“However, beyond the Government’s upfront investment the road will cost $3 million each year to maintain.

“The road will mostly serve specific communities, and so the Government has decided the fairest option is for drivers who will use the road to contribute through its ongoing maintenance costs through tolls.”

Mr Wood said that by using a tolling model, the community can be assured the road will be maintained to a high level as there will be a guaranteed, dedicated income to maintain the road.

The initial toll for a light vehicle that passes through both tolling points will be $3 during peak congestion periods and $2 during interpeak periods. Heavy vehicles will pay double this rate. Public transport operators and cyclists will not be tolled. This price is aligned with other toll roads in New Zealand

Toll camera points will be installed at two locations, one near State Highway 1 and the other just east of the Weiti Bridge.

“Based on community feedback we reduced the tolls for peak trips by 25% to help address concerns that the toll rates were too high. We also removed a third proposed toll point at the Stillwater interchange to improve the efficiency of the tolling scheme,” Mr Wood said.

“Travel between four other access points on Penlink will remain untolled to ensure there is a free route for vehicles that have no alternative but to use Penlink.

“The Government is investing significantly in transport infrastructure in Auckland. In addition to O Mahurangi Penlink we’ve completed the Northern Corridor Improvements Project, started construction on the Eastern Busway extension, brought forward construction of the additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, broken ground on Auckland Light Rail, and opened the Old Māngere Bridge Replacement,” he said.

The construction of O Mahurangi – Penlink is expected to be completed in 2026. The new route will reduce travel time to North Auckland by about 20 minutes during peak hours.

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