Call for Northland Highway Rethink
A major rethink is needed to the proposed route of the Whangarei to Te Hana highway according to Democrats for Social Credit Party Deputy Leader Chris Leitch.
The disruption to local communities is so substantial, that alone should be sufficient grounds for taking another look at what is proposed, but in addition there are better options.
For a start the Brynderwyn bypass proposal should be scrapped and replaced with a tunnel.
The tunnel concept under the hills was scrapped about 20 years ago, but with recent advances in technology should be revived.
A 4 km tunnel project similar to the recently opened 2.4 km Waterview tunnel is feasible and could be completed at a cost of about $2 billion.
The new tunnel would be a much simpler construction as it would not have the constraints of being in a highly built up residential area.
It would also not gobble up countless acres of rural land that the current bypass proposal will, nor cause the enormous dislocation to the rural community.
It has the added advantage that much of the excavated rock would be suitable for roading construction along the new route.
Additionally the proposed Mangapai route should be relocated much closer to the existing highway, deviating onto a new route after the Oakleigh Service station.
This would not dislocate the Mangapai community but might allow for the construction of a new airport for Whangarei using the existing highway route as the location for the new airport’s runways with land being available for terminals and other related buildings.
Access to the new highway would make timing for the trip from the centre of the city to and from the airport little more than the current trip from Onerahi.
The NZTA planners should go back to the drawing board and revise the plans to take local communities and better options into account.
Contact: Chris Leitch, Deputy Leader, Whangarei Candidate
Published: September 2017