The Government of New Zealand announced that construction work has started to deliver a new road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1.

The new 1.35km link road was conceived to reduce congestion and support future growth in the region. The NZD62.2m ($40.21m) project will be delivered in two stages and is expected to create up to 120 jobs.

New Zealand Transport Minister Phil Twyford said: “This new road will help set up the area for growth and have a safe, separated cycling path built along it, reflecting our balanced transport policy.

“It’s just the sort of project this government wants to see in New Zealand’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery, bringing both immediate and long-term benefits to the Warkworth community.”

A full four-lane road, including a new bridge, will be built under the first stage, while the final stage will involve improvement work to the roundabout connection of Matakana Link Road and Matakana Road.

The first stage is expected to be completed by the end of next year. However, stage two will be delivered based on traffic growth.

The project is jointly funded by the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport.

Mayor Phil Goff said: “The Matakana Link Road will relieve the congestion at the intersection at Hill Street, improve access to the east coast beaches and settlements, and provide jobs and economic stimulus for Auckland.

“Auckland Transport has developed a plan that will future-proof the ability to cope with increasing traffic, allowing all four lanes of the road to be built within the existing $62m budget.

“This will ensure that it can accommodate the 20,000 people expected to move into the area over the next 30 years.”

Earlier this year, New Zealand designated NZD2.2bn ($1.44bn) to build new roads in the city of Auckland.