NZTA reluctant over link road intersection report release

The release of a report that gives the reasons behind a decision to start the Matakana link road off State Highway 1, near the Warkworth Showgrounds instead of directly opposite the new motorway, is being delayed by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

Mahurangi Matters requested a copy of the report after hearing residents repeatedly question the decision at public meetings and consultation events.

But an NZTA spokesperson says the report has to first be reviewed by its owners, including Auckland Transport, and then potentially undergo further processes before its release.

Omaha Beach Community Group liaison person Martin Dancy says he has given up on communicating with the involved parties over the decision.

“I’ve been in on this process since the beginning and said from the start that the link road and motorway must connect, but they just don’t listen,” Martin says. “A lot of people have supported this idea so to ignore it just makes a mockery of the whole feedback process.”

It’s understood landowners in the vicinity of the link road, as well as developers, were unanimous in their support of the link road directly meeting the motorway but they were told that it wasn’t an option because it didn’t fit with the motorway contract agreement.

But, not all residents oppose the design. Retired roading engineer Roger Williams says connection of the link road with the western collector serves local traffic movements better.

“Seventy-five per cent of traffic on the link road is destined for Warkworth or the collector route according to modelling so this design is the most effective,” Roger says.

Martin argues that the congestion is an issue mainly at peak holiday times so the road network should cater for the traffic to and from Auckland.

The area surrounding the interchange and link road is also set to undergo major changes in the near future with industrial and residential land development, the building of a Pak’nSave, additions to the showgrounds facility and construction of a park and ride.