With Christmas looming, it’s possible at least part of the Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway will open for the busy holiday period.
As at press time (December 12), Waka Kotahi said an announcement was imminent, but that the timeframe was still tight and the transport agency couldn’t confirm whether there would be a full opening, a partial opening with speed restrictions, or none until the new year.
However, there are indications that at least a partial opening is being contemplated. The chair of the expressway Community Liaison Group, Max Lutz, told the Ōtaki Community Board on December 6 that it was hoped some lanes on the length of the expressway would be open by Christmas.
The opening, whenever it does happen, will be a milestone in Ōtaki’s history.
For the record, the key features of the expressway include:
four lanes of about 13km from Peka Peka to north of Ōtaki
improved safety with more lanes, better safety barriers and lighting, more resilient bridge structures and a 10km off-road shared path for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders
nine new bridges (including the 330m-long Ōtaki River bridge) and two underpasses
107 streetlights along the main alignment
50+ permanent culverts, as well as roadside drainage swales, to protect the road from flooding
six new adjoining wetlands that absorb rain (and the Makahuri wetland has additional planting)
heritage features such as the relocated Mirek Smišek pottery kilns.
Close, so tantalisingly close. As we inch towards the Christmas break, the team building the Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway is working flat out to get it open. Whether they will by Christmas is a matter of much debate and a good deal of conjecture in Ōtaki. Everyone has the inside gossip – from reliable sources, of course. The reality is that... Keep Reading