18 Jul 2015

Revamp for dangerous Whangarei intersections

9:17 am on 18 July 2015

Two of Whangarei's most dangerous intersections will be rebuilt, in a move to keep logging trucks off tourist routes in Northland.

The Government is spending a $460 million on the region's roads over the next three years, with a focus on improving safety and reliable alternative routes in times of flood.

Transport Agency regional director Ernst Zollner said if all went well, Mangakahia Road through the centre of Northland would become a state highway, and its notorious Loop Road-Smeatons intersection would be redesigned.

Mr Zollner said the corner is unsafe and a major bottleneck where it was not unusual to see three log trucks backed up waiting to turn onto State Highway 1.

He said if the turnoff was improved, it would create a bypass around Whangarei for heavy traffic.

Mr Zollner said the Portland Road intersection with State Highway 1 south of Whangarei would also be reconstructed.

Chair of the Northland Regional Transport Committee John Bain said that after the disastrous floods that revealed the fragility of the roads last winter, it was good to see the Government putting some serious money into the region.

Mr Bain said Northland's government roading subsidies were the highest in the country after the Chatham Islands.

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