The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Whangarei District Council have started work on six construction projects being carried out to reduce congestion on the district’s State Highway 1.

The first section of the project involves connecting the highway to the existing bypass to create an alternative to Kamo Road.

The NZ$13m bypass will run from Kamo Road roundabout in between the railway line and connect with the existing SH1 link at Western Hills Drive.

The plan includes securing a shared space underpass for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists and building a signalised pedestrian crossings and a new rail crossing.

The cost of the overall project will total $23m including property deals.

The construction will start in 2010 and is expected to be completed in two years.