One of the country’s most dangerous roads will finally be made safer, with the design and construction contract awarded to Fulton Hogan and HEB Joint Venture.
The $933 million Takitimu North Link will be one of Bay of Plenty’s most significant roading projects.
Stage one will see a 6.8-kilometre, four-lane expressway between Tauranga and Te Puna, with construction starting later this year.
The Joint Venture project director, Tony Gallagher, says the project will improve safety and access.
“We know the community is excited to see this progress after many years of planning,” he says.
The road currently has a poor safety record. Three years ago it was partially blocked as protestors marched along the Wairoa Bridge demanding action.
Waka Kotahi says Western Bay of Plenty communities are projected to grow by 16,000 people in the next two decades, with traffic volume crossing the Wairoa Bridge expected to increase from 20,000 to more than 30,000 a day by 2031.
Today there was a steady stream of people at Tauranga Crossing speaking to the project team.
The road is expected to be completed by 2026.
Stage two will extend the highway from Te Puna to Omokora, but construction won’t start until 2024.