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First stage of Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Project
The Pūhoi to Warkworth project will extend the four-lane Northern Motorway (SH1) 18.5km from the Johnstones Hill Tunnels to just north of Warkworth. It is the first stage of the Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford project, and will now open in 2023.
Ara Tūhono means a connecting pathway (Ara meaning pathway/passage and Ara Tūhono means connecting or linking one part to another).
The highway will be built to the west of the existing SH1 and bypass Warkworth on the western side. It will be a four-lane dual carriageway, separated by a central median with a safety barrier.
Key benefits of the new route include improved safety and connectivity, more reliable journey times and a better freight connection for the Northland region.
The Pūhoi to Warkworth project is a PPP (Private Public Partnership) between the Government and a private consortium, the Northern Express Group (NX2).
While the NX2 private-sector consortium will be responsible for financing, designing, building, maintaining and operating the motorway for up to 25 years, the motorway will remain a public asset.