Year-long handover for old SH1

The old road will stay part of the Waka Kotahi network for another year.

As the new motorway finally opens and grabs everybody’s attention with its super-smooth surface and dramatic hill cuttings, what happens to the old State Highway 1 between Puhoi and Warkworth?

Not much is the answer, at least for a year or so, although a new name will be on the cards quite soon.

The road stays in the ownership of Waka Kotahi for another year, until June 30, 2024, when it will be handed over to Auckland Transport (AT). A spokesperson said the two roading entities would work together during this time, the process for which is known as revocation.

“During the intervening period, Waka Kotahi and AT will continue to work through the various aspects associated with the transition of maintenance and operation responsibilities to AT,” the spokesperson said.

This process will result in the road becoming a ‘local road’. 

“Throughout this period, Waka Kotahi will continue to maintain the road so that it is handed over to AT in a manner that is fit-for-purpose as a local road.”

As for what the old SH1 will be called, for the time being it will be just that – old State Highway 1 – until Auckland Council, AT and Rodney Local Board can agree and leagally formalise a new name.

“Ultimately, the portion of road between McKinney Road and Johnstones Hill Tunnels will be renamed,” AT said.

“Options are being considered and will be put forward to the local board to agree the new name.

Consultation with property owners and mana whenua regarding the agreed name change will be undertaken by AT.”

The road within Warkworth already has three road names – Auckland Road, Brown Road and Great North Road – which AT said would be retained.

AT added that there were no plans to alter the road layout or speed limits for the coming year, but could not comment on whether there would or could be any speed limit changes once it takes over the road from July next year.