MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway Officially Open
Feb 16, 2017
With the smell of new road seal lingering in the air, New Zealand Transport Minister Simon Bridges opened the $630 million Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway yesterday, delivering a long awaited road to the Wellington region.
The Expressway is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, one of the Government's Roads of National Significance, identified as key to economic growth.
The 18km four-lane expressway stretches along the Kāpiti Coast, and includes 18 bridges and 16km of walking and cycle ways. It will separate local and highway traffic and result in safer and shorter trips to and through the Kāpiti Coast - with local and national benefits.
Fletcher and Higgins delivered the project as part of an alliance alongside BECA and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).
The ribbon was cut on the Waikanae River Bridge by New Zealand Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Otaki MP Nathan Guy, 6-year old Te Ati Awa iwi member Grace Ahern, and iwi member Ruby-Mei Franklyn.
"This impressive piece of infrastructure has been a long time coming and after three years of construction, it's fantastic to be delivering it four months ahead of the original scheduled completion date," says Mr Bridges.
"It has been an important project for the Kāpiti and wider Wellington region, with more than $200 million contributed to the local economy through employment of local businesses and more than 5000 people having worked on the project."
Otaki MP Nathan Guy, who helped cut the ribbon, said he had backed the project since it was first mooted.
"I've had constituents in my office in Paraparaumu in tears because they were losing their property... and then a few years later I've had the odd phone call from those people saying 'Nathan I'm sorry we were so tough on you, we believe this project is the right decision for this region and our community'."
He said, "I want to thank our community for living the vision but for being so patient as well."
Kāpiti deputy mayor Janet Holborow said the project had a been a journey for the Kapiti community and "at times a hard road".
"Strong passionate initial resistance from some parts of our community has led, I believe, to this project setting new standards in community engagement and collaboration."
Mr Bridges says the project will deliver a range of benefits including shorter and more reliable travel times and significant safety improvements.
“We know that transport is an enabler of economic activity so we need to continue unlocking key congestion points to get people and freight moving swiftly around the country," he says.
“The Expressway also delivers a second, more resilient road network north of Wellington, an important feature in the wake of recent geological events.
"I'd like to acknowledge everyone who has been involved in the build including NZTA, the contractors, local MP Nathan Guy, who has advocated for this road strenuously over time, as well as former Transport Ministers Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce who have been integral to its progression."