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Bypasses for SH3 blackspots
CAPTION: .......to come
BYPASSES at Mt Messenger and
the Awakino Gorge Tunnel have
received the green light thanks to
Government funding announced yes-
Prime Minister John Key has con-
firmed the Government will invest
$80-$90 million constructing a bypass
at Mt Messenger, and $9-$15 million
on a bypass of the Awakino Gorge
Tunnel, within the next two years.
PART OF PROGRAMME
The project forms part of the
Government’s Accelerated Regional
Roading Programme, 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.
“I am absolutely thrilled with Mr
Key’s announcement regarding these
two major roading projects,” says
Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara
“The bypasses will ensure an en-
hanced level of safety on our roads,
which has been a critical issue for
“And they will open up the entire
west coast link to the Upper North Is-
land, which will undoubtedly increase
tourism, economic productivity, and
the flow of goods and services.”
She says as a key freight network
between the Waikato and Taranaki
regions, the affected sections of SH3
have become increasingly unsafe
and prone to unpredictable, periodic
“The Taranaki-King Country com-
munity will be excited by this an-
nouncement, as it is an essential link
for our provincial development.”
Waitomo mayor Brian Hanna
agrees. “It’s good to have money
spent in that area because it is a
pretty strategic link between the
upper North Island and Taranaki.”
He also says the Waitomo district
has been pushing for more passing
bays in the gorge because trucks have
nowhere to pull over so cars can pass.
Deputy mayor Guy Whittaker says
he can see the positives given the
economics of the Taranaki area.
“I know Brian [Hanna] has been
pushing NZTA to get some action on
the highway and now we are starting
to see things happening.
“But as [Te Kuiti] deputy fire chief
it’s beneficial for the safety of traffic
going between the two regions and
that has to be a real positive.”
Local transport operators who use
this section of SH3 on a daily basis
are divided about the announcement.
Progress Transport manager Scott
Lyford says: “It’s a lot of money but
it will make a huge improvement to
the section of road.
“I don’t know if it will save a lot of
time, maybe 10 to 15 minutes, but it
will definitely make the trip safer.”
Te Kuiti-based Sorensen Transport
manager Peter Needham doesn’t feel
it will make much of a difference.
“There are other parts of the road
where there are problems with slips
and other incidents,” he says.
“Really we have coped up until now
just one part of the road.
“My questions are . . . where is the
money being spent and how long are
WELCOME MESSAGE: Frequent SH3 traveller, Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger – pictured on top of Mt Mes-
senger yesterday – was thrilled with the announcement by Prime Minister John Key that a bypass is to be built at the trouble
spot, as well as another at the Awakino Tunnel (below left). PHOTOS SUPPLIED
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