The Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway is due to open by Christmas, but by August next year, enhancement work mainly at the Railway area of Ōtaki will begin in earnest.
The revocation process (see explanation panel at right) will last about two years, taking works through until 2025. It’s designed to create a more appealing urban environment on what is now State Highway 1, but which will become a local road after the expressway opens.
The most substantial visible change to the road in a corridor between Te Kowhai Road at Peka Peka and Taylors Road north of Ōtaki, will be between the BP roundabout and Riverbank Road. Riverbank Road will get traffic lights, and there will be new urban trees and street furniture at the shops.
Roading agency Waka Kotahi told Ōtaki Today that changes include:
reducing traffic lanes at the Rāhui Road roundabout to a single lane in each direction
wider footpaths and improved pedestrian crossings
low-level planting and street trees
improved street furniture (such as street lights, benches and rubbish bins)
raised road tables (such as large speed humps) to slow vehicle speeds and enhance pedestrian movements within the retail area, and to the train station
new on-road cycle lanes south of Waerenga Road
shared path connections to link with the shared paths constructed by the expressway project
new traffic lights at Riverbank Road intersection.
Some early works, such as new road surfacing and line marking on some sections of the revocation corridor, could happen during the coming summer, to coincide with planned Waka Kotahi road surface maintenance works.
At present, the detailed design phase has just begun and is planned to take until about April 2023. The agency says design includes previous input from community consultation.
“We’ll be regularly updating our mana whenua partners at Ngā Hāpu o Ōtaki, KCDC elected members and Ōtaki Community Board members, as well as other groups like Elevate Ōtaki throughout design and construction,” Waka Kotahi said. “Consultation on the proposed design will also be communicated during the design process so that the community, plus other interested stakeholders and affected parties, can have their say on the designs.”
Consultation will include discussion about speed limits for the road.
The project team is working with Waka Kotahi and KCDC on property, consent requirements, designations and asset handover processes that are required for KCDC to take over ownership of the road.
Work will undoubtedly be disruptive for some local retailers and other Railway area businesses.
Waka Kotahi says the project team will work with stakeholders and KCDC to plan and stage the construction works to minimise disruption as much as possible.
A memorandum of understanding between Waka Kotahi and KCDC outlines the proposed scope of works and funding for what will be a multi-million dollar project.