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National promises $212m regional roading spend-up

Prime Minister John Key has announced $212 million from the Future Investment Fund for a package of "14 regionally important State highway projects."

The PM used his key note speech on day two of National's annual conference to announce the new policy.

The pre-election pork seems to be aimed at criticism his government has been light on regional development.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the government is committing up to $80 million from the package to accelerate five "critically important regional projects", with work beginning next year (assuming a National-led government is still power).

Labour leader David Culiffe accused National of a U-turn on roading.

“After six years in office and three months out from the election, the government has suddenly decided to return some of the road funding it took from the regions to pay for its $12 billion ‘roads of national significance’," Mr Cunliffe said in a statement.

“Labour has made it clear that this funding needed to be restored, but I think most New Zealanders will be wondering why the government hasn’t come up with a decent plan to create real wealth and grow jobs in the regions." Mr Cunliffe maintains his party's Economic Upgrade series of policies will bring broad-based growth to provincial NZ.

The five projects announced by Key and Browlee today are:

  • Kawarau Falls Bridge, in Otago
  • Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek realignment, in Canterbury
  • Akerama Curves Realignment and Passing Lane, in Northland
  • State Highway 35 Slow Vehicle Bays, in Gisborne
  • Normanby Overbridge Realignment, in Taranaki.

“These projects are fully investigated and designed, and address current safety, resilience or productivity issues, but construction wasn’t due to begin until late this decade or after 2020,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Following today’s announcement construction on these projects could begin in 2014/15, and be completed by 2016/17.

“The government is committed to fund the next six projects with an additional $115 million and subject to the usual investigations, construction would be expected to begin within three years on each of these projects.

The six projects are:

  • Whirokino Trestle Bridge replacement, in Manawatu/Wanganui
  • Motu Bridge replacement, in Gisborne
  • Opawa and Wairau Bridge replacements, in Marlborough
  • Taramakau Road/Rail Bridge, on the West Coast
  • Loop road north to Smeatons Hill safety improvements, in Northland
  • Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge Corridor, in Taranaki.

“A further $12 million will be available to accelerate investigation and design of three large projects in Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and the Bay of Plenty,” Mr Brownlee says.

These projects are:

  • Port of Napier access package, in Hawke’s Bay
  • Nelson Southern Link, in Nelson
  • Rotorua Eastern Arterial, in Bay of Plenty.

“Each project could then be considered for funding under the proposed Regional Improvements activity class in the next Government Policy Statement on land transport.

“By directly funding some of the most crucial State highway improvements, the government is freeing up more funding in the Regional Improvements activity class for other priority projects.

“This funding package also strongly complements the government’s Roads of National Significance programme, ensuring people and freight reach their destinations quickly and safety,” Mr Brownlee says.

Links to maps and descriptions of each project:

· Summary of all projects

· Kawarau Falls Bridge, in Otago –

o Kawerau Falls Bridge - Picture

o Kawerau Falls Bridge - Map

· Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek realignment, in Canterbury –

o Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek realignment - Picture

o Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek realignment - Map

· Akerama Curves Realignment and Passing Lane, in Northland –

o Akerama Curves realignment and passing lane - Picture

o Akerama Curves realignment and passing lane - Map

· State Highway 35 Slow Vehicle Bays, in Gisborne –

o State Highway 35 Slow Vehicle Bays - Picture

o State Highway 35 Slow Vehicle Bays - Map

· Normanby Overbridge Realignment, in Taranaki –

o Normanby Overbridge realignment - Picture

o Normanby Overbridge realignment - Map

· Whirokino Trestle Bridge replacement, in Manawatu/Wanganui –

o Whirokino Trestle Bridge - Picture

o Whirokino Trestle Bridge - Map

· Motu Bridge replacement, in Gisborne –

o Motu Bridge replacement - Picture

o Motu Bridge replacement - Map

· Opawa and Wairau Bridges replacements, in Marlborough –

o Opawa Bridge - Picture

o Wairau Bridge - Picture

o Opawa and Wairau Bridge replacements - Map

· Taramakau Road/Rail Bridge, on the West Coast –

o Taramakau Road/Rail Bridge - Picture

o Taramakau Road/Rail Bridge - Map

· Loop Road North to Smeatons Hill safety improvements, in Northland –

o Loop Road North to Smeatons Hill - Picture

o Loop Road North to Smeatons Hill - Map

· Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge Corridor, in Taranaki –

o Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge Corridor - Picture

o Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge Corridor - Map

· Port of Napier access package, in Hawke’s Bay –

o Port of Napier access package - Picture

o Port of Napier access package - Map

· Nelson Southern Link, in Nelson

o Nelson Southern Link - Map

· Rotorua Eastern Arterial, in Bay of Plenty

o Rotorua Eastern Arterial - Map

 

 

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Comments and questions
9

Repairing the Gisborne-Napier railway line would save heaps on wear and tear on the highway. The truck-lovers win again!

The rail is a waste of time supported by dreamers wanting to spend other peoples money on their pet project. It couldn't get decent commercial support prior to the washout and nothing has changed since.
Fixing the one way bridge at the bottom of Traffords hill is a far far better use of the money, the only reason it hasn't been done before is because no one has died there yet. Not to mention passing bays up the coast which the RUC's contributed by trucks should have been used for years ago.

This is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

All funds have been directed to the roads of national significance, with an extra tax on petrol to cover it.

The regions have seen very little, compared to what they received previously, Ask The Property Group if you dont believe me. They do most of the property work in the regions.

I live a long way from the RONS but do a fair bit of travelling, all those roads are very significant. The bottlenecks at places like Taupiri should have been fixed years ago and will benefit the whole country. Having driven north a few times the debacle that is the road from Puhoi to Wellsford should be a source of national shame. Get it fixed and do it NOW.

Good to see long overdue Normanby realignment back in the frame, but I doubt a labourgreendotcom win in September will see it proceed!

Buy - mainfreight & opus

It's amazing what bangs for your bucks the Government can achieve with
$212m compared with Len Brown's $4b odd on a ridiculous CRL.

While good, this stuff should be considered 'business as usual".

A bit underwhelming - how are they gong to create jobs in the regions once the roading contractors leave?

Prior to the last election Johnathon Young and John Key stated that there would be money made available for the northern exit bottleneck from New Plymouth and the Normanby overbridge realignment. So far nothing has happened on either. I wait to see if anything will happen this time around. I'm not holding my breath.