The Manawatu/Whanganui region is set to get a $230 million slice of a major nationwide Government roading plan worth $12.3 billion.
Auckland gets the lion’s share of funding with about $2.7b.
NZTA regional director Central Jenny Chetwynd said today’s announcement of the National Land Transport Programme for 2012-15 included an investment of $230m for the day-to-day upkeep of the Manawatu/Whanganui region’s roads.
About $185m of that will be targeted towards local roads.
The package also includes regional funds to shore up the Saddle Road alternative route for the Manawatu Gorge, and replace the Whakaruatapu Bridge north of Dannevirke.
Further investment will also be made to look safety improvements on the Otaki to Levin section of the Wellington Northern Corridor road of national significance.
“We announced our decision earlier this year to make extensive safety improvements between Otaki and Levin, and over the next three years we’ll be investigating these improvements further and moving closer to the design phase.”
Investment will also enable improvements to be made to the state highway between Manawatu/Whanganui and Wellington, with a particular focus on trucks.
”The improvements recognise the indispensable role that the Manawatu region plays as a bustling freight hub."
Ms Chetwynd said the investment will also see an upgrade to the Saddle Road.
“The last year has demonstrated the importance to the region’s economy of having a more resilient alternative route to the Manawatu Gorge, and this investment package will help us to improve the condition of the Saddle Road.
‘‘This will help to give the region confidence that a sturdier route exists in the event of the gorge closing in future years.”
Other works planned include:
* Road widening north of Shannon
* Intersection upgrades in Palmerston North
* Stock effluent disposal facilities
* Ongoing investment in Palmerston North’s public transport service
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the programme was the largest of its kind in New Zealand's history and would fund transport infrastructure and services around New Zealand such as state highway improvements and the Government's "roads of national significance".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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