It's the biggest part in a $20 million series of work on the state highway through Whangarei and the SH14/SH1 intersection at Maunu is now fully open for traffic.

The NZ Transport Agency's highways manager, Steve Mutton, said the agency started work on the Maunu Rd and Western Hills Drive intersection last year and the main work was now complete.

He said some landscaping remained to be done as well as removing the site offices, but the project had been finished on time.

The intersection work, costing $6.9 million, is one of five projects NZTA is carrying out on the SH1 corridor through Whangarei at a total cost of about $20 million.


The others are: upgrading the Tarewa Rd/SH1 intersection; four-laning SH1 from Tarewa Rd to SH14; four-laning SH1 from Fourth Ave to Selwyn Ave and safety improvements from Kamo Rd to Kensington Ave.

Mr Mutton said the SH14/SH1 project went relatively smoothly, with a storm and lightning strike taking out the lights, the only real, unscheduled difficulties.

"We are very pleased with the support for the project we received from the Whangarei District Council, but equally the support from the Whangarei community and their patience, which helped towards a very successful job."

The entire series of works should be completed in 2017 or early 2018 and it was likely there would be a big event to celebrate the completion of all five projects then.

In a letter to the Northern Advocate, Te Mai Rd residents Jo Wyatt and Derek Butcher praised the Fulton Hogan staff who worked on the intersection and took all steps to ensure safety of the public.

The pair said the workers had to put up with "cranky drivers, some of whom have been down-right rude to you" and "through all of this you have made major improvements to a major intersection with smiles and friendly waves".