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Central Hawke’s Bay District Council Reflects on a Busy Twelve Months under Project to Upgrade Essential Transport Link

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With strengthening work at Wallingford Bridge nearing completion, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council looks back on a busy twelve months as part of a project to upgrade Pōrangahau and Wimbledon Roads – which serve as vital economic links for the District.
Chief Executive for Council, Monique Davidson said Council and its partners have made great progress in the Kānoa - Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit project, which takes Central Hawke’s Bay another step closer towards an improved network of essential transport links through the district.
“With growing volumes of freight using the stretch of Route 52, from Pōrangahau to Wimbledon Road, ensuring its reliability and resilience are key to protecting our regional economy and enhancing opportunities for productivity.”
She said above and beyond Wallingford Bridge, the past twelve months has seen the successful upgrade of five retaining walls, renewal of over 600 metres of area wide pavement and completion of Stage 1 of the Flaxmill / Wanstead Roading Upgrade.
“In addition to the physical works undertaken, we have also completed a significant amount of investigation, design and procurement to ensure the work above and the planned work can be completed seamlessly.”
Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay said the programme of work under the project has had a strong economic development basis for Central Hawke’s Bay.
“We are a rural economy and having resilient and reliable roading out to our Pōrangahau coastal areas is vital not just for farming, but for tourism and other development opportunities.”
Ms Davidson said the next 12 months will see the continuation of Council’s bridge strengthening and upgrade programme.
“This will include work on a further three bridges and two culverts to upgrade them to HPMV capacity.”
Works are currently underway on the second of five stages to improve safety and resilience between Flaxmill and Wanstead.
“A significant retreat in the plans will see Wimbledon Road realigned to avoid an area of instability,” she said.
“Further retaining walls are also planned along the route – it will be a busy time through to June 2022.”
To complement these upgrades Council is also investigating a slow vehicle bay on the route, and area wide safety improvements.
Mayor Alex said: “It has been great to see the commitment from the team to ensuring that this project was not just about roads, but also about people. Safety improvements and local employment has meant that this government investment has been put to great use.”
The $20.1m project kicked off last year and is expected to be complete in June 2022.

  • In June 2019 Council received $20.1m in Kānoa - Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit Funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to improve transport infrastructure for communities on Porangahau and Wimbledon Roads.
  • Forestry, fishing and mining (FFM), Manufacturing and agriculture produce 48% of the total GDP generated by Central Hawkes Bay District. These are the key sectors in Central Hawkes Bay employing 2600 people directly, around 41% of the total employed population. Much of what is produced either supports value added production elsewhere in NZ or is exported thus directly contributing to a positive balance of payments for the country.
  • In 2017 this district and its industries contributed $482 Million to the regional economy of Hawkes Bay and Hawkes Bay contributes (via the above three industries) 4% of New Zealand’s total GDP in these sectors.
  • Visit our website for more detailed information on the programme: OR Sign up to our E-newsletter to stay up to date.

28 September 2021

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