The year 2019 was a big one for the Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway project, with progress clear to see for everyone passing through or living around Ōtaki.
Big milestones were the shift of the railway tracks north of the railway station at Easter, the reopening of Rāhui Road over the new east-west bridge, the reopening of Old Hautere Road and laying the last beam on the Ōtaki River bridge.
By the end of 2020, more than three quarters of the expressway construction – including the shared pathway that stretches the length of the project – is expected to be completed. Most significantly will be completion of many of the bridges (there are a total of 10 on the project).
KEY 2020 MILESTONES
Stage 1 traffic switch from State Highway 1 at Makahuri (Marycrest) to the new local arterial road (about 800m northern end only).
Stage 2 traffic switch from SH1 (Makahuri to Te Kowhai Road) to the new local arterial road (remaining section, about 2.2km)
Construction of expressway road pavements begins.
Switch traffic from the existing Gear Road on to the new Gear Road alignment.
All beams for Bridge 8 at Te Horo Beach Road will be in place. The beams will start to arrive on site in January.
Throughout the year
During the year five bridges are expected to be completed:
Ōtaki River Bridge (Bridge 5)
Te Horo Beach Road Bridge (Bridge 8)
Waitohu Stream Bridge (Bridge 1)
Rail overbridge at Marycrest (Bridge 9)
Makahuri underpass (Bridge 10).
Meantime, with more than 17,000 vehicles a day expected to travel through Ōtaki during the holiday period, the expressway team is urging people to drive safely and watch out for others. They also point out that traffic management – including lower speeds and orange cones – is not only for worker safety, but also road users.