Otaki expressway on fast track
The at-least $250 million northern section of Kapiti's expressway has been put on the consenting fast track.
Environment Minister Amy Adams announced today that an application for the Peka Peka to Otaki expressway will be decided by a board of inquiry.
"This process will enable affected people to have their say but will deliver a decision within nine months," Ms Adams said.
The boards were set up by the government to fast track the consenting process for projects of national significance.
The board will be chaired by retired High Court judge Sir Hugh Williams, joined by resource management experts Pamela Peters and Morrie Te Whiti Love, resource management and civil engineering expert Jeffrey Jones, and roading expert Mark Apeldoorn.
Ms Adams said the application is nationally significant because of its use of physical resources and natural resources, the wide public interest in the project, and because it is part of a network which extends to more than one region or district.
The NZ Transport Agency lodged the application in March - weeks after a draft board decision approving the $630m MacKay's to Peka Peka section of the Kapiti expressway.
The latest application relates to the construction, operation and maintenance of the expressway and the construction, operation and maintenance of a section of the Main Trunk railway line.
The project would include a new four-lane expressway running alongside the existing State Highway 1 alignment through Te Horo.
It would bypass Otaki with connections to local roads and new bridges over the Otaki River and Waitohu Stream.
Detailed design on the project is expected to start next year and construction in 2016.
Work on the southern section of the expressway is expected to begin this year and be completed by 2017.
- Kapiti Observer