We’ve just received the Manakau newsletter and spotted brief Expressway news
First, a meeting for learning about the Horowhenua District Council plans:
At 4pm on Wednesday 19th December 2018 in the Manakau Hall there will be an opportunity to hear from HDC Council officers about their plans for this region. You will be aware that due to the stress and trauma of the NZTA Expressway plans we did not actively contribute to the Council’s Strategic Plan earlier in the year, and that plan has since caused further stress for those affected.
The future of our community is of interest and concern to us all and the Council has now responded to our concerns and will give us an opportunity to express them and help us understand their ideas and the timeframe for action. The meeting may take an hour and everyone is welcome.
By now you will also know that the chosen route for the Expressway is S6 so it will be an opportunity to learn how the NZTA plans marry up with the HDC’s plans.
And on the Expressway, with an official announcement expected tomorrow:
Some Horowhenua residents have received a letter revealing the route of the Ōtaki to north of Levin expressway.
The preferred route runs closest to State Highway 1 and closest to SH57 further north. On the New Zealand Transport Agency’s maps, the route is a combination of section S6 and N4.
If you’re frustrated by the high volume of traffic between Waikawa Beach and either Levin or Ōtaki, and concerned about your safety between here and Levin then you’ll be interested in what’s happening about the Expressway. Unfortunately, things won’t be resolved soon:
The future of a proposed expressway between Ōtaki and Levin, north of Wellington, appears more uncertain … Residents … had been told a final route would be chosen by June.
But the [New Zealand Transport Agency] now says it will be months before it can confirm the route …
Driving along SH1 between here and Levin is inevitably an experience. There are stretches where pedestrians or cyclists are on the side of the road, some slow farm vehicle is hugging the shoulder, huge trucks are coming in the opposite direction and people who can’t wait a millisecond are overtaking in spite of yellow lines. A couple of weeks ago I almost hit what I later realised was a pig crossing the road in front of me at 9 pm.
Since 2013, there have been 11 deaths and 43 serious injuries along the sections of SH1 and SH57, which the expressway would replace as the main route through the area.
In March, former coroner Philip Comber said that, over the past 25 years, the roads had become “a killing field marked like a battlefield with white crosses”.
That’s hardly surprising given the mix of traffic using the road. And with the road and bridge construction both north and south of us we also see high volumes of trucks carrying enormous machinery, concrete structures and building supplies.
… uncertainty has swirled around the project since April when the Government announced new priorities for land transport.
It proposed taking money away from the previous Government’s Roads of National Significance projects … to focus on rail projects and road safety.
Imagine if we could drive to Manakau, somehow easily cross SH1 and then take any one of numerous and inexpensive trains or buses to our destination of choice, day or night, weekday or weekend, as though we were living in Europe. But without the millions of people who also live in Europe. And that’s a public transport problem: New Zealand simply doesn’t have the population density of Europe.
To see crash statistics along ‘our’ stretch of SH1 look at the NZ Transport Agency manages the Crash Analysis System, an interactive map that allows you to filter out crashes by severity. I counted 21 fatal accidents on SH1 between the Ōtaki roundabout and Hokio Beach Road between 2001 and now. That doesn’t include crashes on side roads. Note: you have to zoom in sufficiently to see the data.
It’s pleasing to see no fatal, or even serious crashes between the village and Ketemaringi Place, though there have been a number of minor crashes along Waikawa Beach Road.
In fact, yesterday neither a fence nor the car that crashed through it did very well out of the encounter.
Greenhaven Homes was established in mid-2016, and to date, they have built 50 homes mostly in the Wellington region and all within a three-hour radius of Levin.
There’s at least one in Waikawa Beach village and the owners love it.
With a Lifemark Four Star rating, the homes are designed to allow all day sun, so there are no cold, damp back rooms. They’re breathable homes, and humidity is half that of a standard home. A controlled central heating system ensures the home remains warm when the heat dissipates from the concrete (passive solar strip), and at a fraction of the price of heating a traditional home.
“By 2020 we’ll build 100 homes a year, and 80 of them will be built in a prefabrication plant in Levin.”
This year is set to be a big one for Greenhaven Homes. The week before Easter it opened a new show home at the corner of State Highway One, and Waikawa Beach Road, and more than 200 people went through it in the first couple of days. Since then, Greenhaven Homes has completed the purchase of 2.5 hectares on Main South Road in Levin to build its prefabrication plant.
As we know, Horowhenua is growing and, it seems, becoming a construction hub:
On average, Horowhenua will need 244 new homes every year for the next 20 years. Kāpiti through to Wellington is also growing, as is Palmerston North.
“Greenhaven Homes is positioning itself to be part of the solution,” says Mr Grainger. “Horowhenua is doing the same — we are becoming the construction hub for the lower and central North Island for both commercial and residential builds.”
I guess soon we can add houses to the variety of large and unusual vehicles we see as we travel in to Levin, along with Army trucks, logging trucks, farm vehicles, road-building machinery, boats, and more.