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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is working together with the Pūhoi to Warkworth project partners, Northern Express Group (NX2), and its subcontractor, Fletcher/ Acciona Joint Venture, to confirm a new 2023 opening date for the motorway.

The 18.5-kilometre motorway will provide a safer, more resilient and reliable route for motorists travelling between Auckland and Northland.

“Like most industries in Aotearoa, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on roading infrastructure, and the completion of a number of key projects including the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway– one of Auckland’s largest infrastructure projects currently under construction,” says Brett Gliddon, Waka Kotahi General Manager Transport Services.

“The extended lockdown saw Alert Level 3 & 4 restrictions in place for several months before the region moved into the traffic light framework. This coupled with ongoing supply chain constraints has caused significant delays to the programme of works,” says Mr Gliddon.

Auckland Transport Executive General Manager of Planning and Investment Jenny Chetwynd says “This project is another important step in our continued investment in keeping us moving. It’s a critical component of our wider transport system Transport in Tamaki Makaurau that needs to be considered in the context of our future urban growth and land uses. It plays a pivotal role in supporting a city’s economy and quality of life.  As our city and population continue to expand planning has already begun to ensure Aucklanders have transport options in the future.”

While Waka Kotahi cannot confirm an exact opening date, NX2 and Fletcher/Acciona have advised that the road will be completed next year which means the safer, more reliable and resilient route will now open in 2023.

Under the terms of the PPP contract, road opening is decided by NX2 and advice that an Independent Reviewer is satisfied that all contractually agreed safety and quality assurance requirements and tests have been met. Building a road that meets these tests is the responsibility of NX2 and its subcontractor, Fletcher/ Acciona Joint Venture.

There is a contractual process in place to determine the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the programme of works and the delay that our partners maybe entitled to. Waka Kotahi is currently working with our partners to use this process to assess the impacts of the COVID-19.

Despite two years of challenging pandemic conditions, NX2 and Fletcher/Acciona continue to work hard to complete the motorway. Good progress is being made at the Southern Connection just north of the Johnstones Hills tunnels and planning is well under way to complete the next sequence of work to connect SH1 to the new road.

Once that work is completed between May-June 2022, motorists will be able to drive through the tunnel and on to the Arawhiti ki Ōkahu (Ōkahu viaduct). They’ll drive through a big cut in the hillside before re-joining SH1 at Pūhoi. Traffic will remain in one lane in each direction and motorists won’t be able to drive on the Pūhoi viaduct (Arawhiti ki Pūhoi) until the rest of the 18.5 km motorway opens next year.

Waka Kotahi, NX2 and Fletcher/Acciona are fully committed to working together to complete the project as soon as possible and look forward to opening the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway next year. Waka Kotahi will provide an update on the exact opening date as soon this has been worked through.

The latest flyover video for the project: