The Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway is due for completion in the second quarter of 2021.
Originally, the contract completion date had been set at January 7, 2021, and with hopes the expressway could be open before the Christmas traffic in late 2020. However, construction manager Steve Findlay told a meeting of north Ōtaki residents on March 25 that “second quarter 2021” was the likely completion date.
A statement from the NZ Transport Agency later said the new timeframe was because a shared pathway had been added to the project.
“The inclusion of the shared path to the PP2Ō expressway project scope is an added benefit for the community,” acting senior project delivery manager Karen Boyt said.
Initially, cycling facilities were going to be designed, developed and included after the project was completed, and had been intended to run on what is now State Highway 1, which would become a local road. However, after an assessment process and strong support for the pathway from the community, it was decided to build the path as part of the project.
“As a welcomed addition to the PP2Ō project by the local community, the shared walking, cycling and bridle path means that the expressway will now be opened in 2021,” Karen said. “While the extension to the completion date is not ideal, it is necessary in order to provide the long-term benefits that the shared path will provide the community.”
She said the PP2Ō team would continue its community engagement and consultation on the design for the shared path and there would be a positive announcement soon.
Meantime, construction of the new Ōtaki River bridge (above) has reached the halfway mark, with 55 of the 110 bridge beams now in place.
At 330 metres long, it is the largest structure on the expressway. The two lanes in each direction will carry about 12,000 vehicles a day and provide a more resilient and efficient connection between northern and southern Ōtaki.
Also progressing rapidly are works on the new Waitohu River bridge, the bridges north of the Mill Road roundabout, and positive community engagement on the design for the PP2Ō shared pathway.