Two big roading projects in the Wellington region have seen major developments today.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has marked the official start of construction of the 16km MacKays to Peka Peka section Expressway with a sod turning ceremony this afternoon.
It has also announced the consortium that it will enter into Preferred Bidder negotiations with for the Transmission Gully highway project.
The Wellington Gateway Partnership is comprised of firms and investors including Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd, HEB Construction Ltd, InfraRed Infrastructure General Partner Ltd, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
Two consortiums - Wellington Gateway Partnership and Positive Connection - were on the shortlist to build the road.
The 27km Transmission Gully project will be the first state highway project in New Zealand built as a public private partnership (PPP).
The final PPP contract would be awarded in mid-2014, Transport Agency Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said.
"This is one more important step in the procurement process, but there is more to be done before a PPP contract can be awarded for the project."
Transmission Gully will connect with the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway north of Paekakariki when the Transmission Gully route is completed.
Construction on the $1.3b, 27-kilometre highway is expected to start in the second half of 2014 and be completed by the end of 2020.
The road will be built and operated by a consortium for 25 years in a PPP which ensures the government retains ownership of the road.
- The Dominion Post