Local MPs welcome news of public consultation for changes to SH3

Press Releases
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

\Taranaki MP’s Barbara Kuriger and Jonathan Young have today welcomed the news of impending public consultation by the New Zealand Transport Agency regarding the bypass and safety work soon to commence on State Highway 3.
“SH3 is an essential link for our provincial development, and I encourage the community to actively take part in the public consultation to ensure a safe and reliable route is constructed,” said Barbara Kuriger.
“The portion of road between the Waikato and Taranaki regions is a key freight link but the affected section of State Highway 3 has become increasingly unsafe, and prone to unpredictable, periodic closures. The improvements will ensure an enhanced level of safety on our roads, which continues to be a critical issue for SH3,” said Kuriger.
With drop in meetings in New Plymouth, Urenui, Mokau and Te Kuiti, all users of the road will have the opportunity for input and consultation on the advanced designs for the Mt Messenger and Awakino Tunnel bypass projects.
“With Taranaki attracting more and more tourists, this improvement to SH3 is vital. Tourists often travel on roads for the first time, so improving the safety of SH3 is important. Mt Messenger has always been a difficult stretch of road and so a bypass around this will make a great improvement to the journey,” said Jonathan Young.
“I am pleased to see the NZTA consulting the public as their last consultation around the North Outlet in New Plymouth helped make improvements to the original plan.
“I am looking forward to when the shovel turns over the first sod. That will be a memorable day and so we trust that the public consultation process will happen speedily so the commencement of works can begin,” said Young.
“The improvements to the stretch of road between Awakino Gorge and Mt Messenger have been a long time coming, and it is good to see progress being made in an advanced manner,” said Kuriger.
“The success of this road is critical to the future of many who reside and do business along this portion of highway, therefore it is important for those affected to have their voices heard,” said Kuriger.
Prime Minister John Key confirmed in early 2016 the Government will invest $80 to $90 million constructing a bypass at Mt Messenger, and $9 to $15 million on a bypass of the Awakino Gorge Tunnel on State Highway 3.
This project forms part of the Government’s Accelerated Regional Roading Programme which was announced by the Prime Minister in 2014, and is designed to speed up the completion of transport projects considered to be important to the regions.