2021 will be a very happy one for residents and other users of the northern end of Route 52, with the start of the long-awaited project in the New Year.
The project, between Weber and the Central Hawke’s Bay boundary, will take three years to complete and has been made possible with funding of $14.6 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
“We are very grateful for the PGF funding, as our small ratepayer base would have struggled to afford it,” Mayor Tracey Collis said.
“Only 18 months ago, after strong submissions from our community wanting Route 52 fixed, we were forced to find alternative funding when our bids to the New Zealand Transport Agency were declined.”
Since the PGF funding was announced in August, the planning team have been busy refining the project scope, developing project plans, undertaking detail survey of the route to enable design and engaging with interested stakeholders, including representatives from the community and Council’s Iwi partners.
Mayor Collis said she’d also like to thank MP Kieran McAnulty for his support of the project during the application and approval process.
“Improving the safety and resilience of this vital transport route for our rural residents and visitors was of the utmost importance, and Kieran certainly understood this,” she said.
The project has been officially named “Huarahi Tūhono – Weber to Wimbledon,” meaning, “the road that connects Weber to Wimbledon.”
While the work will commence on January 6, next year, a contract signing and groundbreaking ceremony was held at Wimbledon today.
Plans are underway to establish a project office in Weber to ensure contractors, the management team and local residents can engage together throughout the project.
There will also be a community open day in early February to explain how the project will develop. Details of the open day will be promoted in the New Year.
An email newsletter will be developed for the project in the New Year. Anyone wanting to be added to the newsletter distribution list can contact the project Community Stakeholder Manager, Kimberley Stevens, call 0274440069 or email email@example.com.