Three Northland intersections will be upgraded at a cost of more than $20 million in the latest infrastructure upgrade announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.
The funding boost is part of the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade programme, of which $300m is set aside for capital projects in the regions.
This morning's announcement comprises roading, airport and coastal projects from the Mid North to Fiordland totalling $190m.
The Northland projects to receive funding are:
■ SH11/SH10 intersection at Puketona Junction. Roundabout, $15m.
According to Jones' office: ''The primary benefit of this change is to increase the level of road safety and improve traffic flow. The project is expected to indirectly contribute to Northland's economic development plan through improved infrastructure attracting more visitors to the region.''
Puketona Junction is notorious for crashes and has long been earmarked for a roundabout but funding has not been available.
■ SH1/SH11 intersection at Kawakawa. Roundabout and resilience project, $6m.
''This project will replace the existing intersection with a roundabout at the intersection of State Highways 1 and 11 in Kawakawa. The primary benefit of this change is to improve safety and traffic flow. This intersection is a key connector on the Twin Coast Discovery Route which is included as a priority route in Te Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan.''
■ SH12/Rawene Rd intersection, South Hokianga. Improvements $500,000.
''This project will improve the State Highway 12 and Rawene Road intersection, to bring it up to current standards and accommodate additional right turning capacity. The intersection has a known crash history and the funding will improve its safety. The intersection is a key gateway for community and visitors accessing the Hokianga Harbour ferry. The funding will improve the reliability and resilience of the road and reduce disruption.''
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Jones said construction on some of the projects could get underway by the end of August.
"I spend a lot of time in the regions and one bugbear I consistently hear about is roads,'' he said.
"Officials from the Provincial Development Unit and the New Zealand Transport Agency have worked together to identify which roading improvements are ready to go but required funding.''
"This investment is expected to contribute to regional economic development while providing safer roads, safer bridges, and easier to access stopping points. Roads play a critical role in enabling regional economic activity and several regions' roading networks exist in challenging conditions.''
Today's announcement is made up of $88m for roads, just under $90m in coastal assets and upgrades to Taupo and Milford airports.