Kāpiti Coast District Council Mayor K Gurunathan is welcoming news that community connections, resilience and safety for the Kāpiti District are all set to improve, following a decision on the final expressway route from Ōtaki to north of Levin.

The NZ Transport Agency made the official announcement earlier today.

“This next step to provide a smooth and safe road corridor through the length of our District is vital for both the health and wealth of our community, and our wider region,” Mayor Gurunathan says.

“We’ll now be connected as seamlessly as possible to our neighbours to the north and south, and them to us.

“That will bring both economic and social benefit to our communities. It will mean greater attractiveness and ease for business, as well as enhanced confidence of our people to be able to access the health and other social services they may need.”

Mayor Gurunathan also acknowledged the safety improvements the future new route would bring to road users north of Ōtaki and joined Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen in welcoming the preferred route decision.

Construction is not expected to start for a number of years depending on growth and national road funding priorities. In the meantime Mayor Gurunathan said both councils have been working with the Agency to address the serious recent crash issues on the existing State Highway 1 between Ōtaki and Foxton. A meeting was held last week on immediate improvement works through the area.

“The new northern section of expressway will be another important part of the equation to improve road safety across our shared region,” Mayor Gurunathan says.

“We are pleased with the Transport Agency’s response and the practical steps being taken to reduce harm in our District on an important stretch of highway our residents use regularly to access their healthcare and other community services, particularly from Ōtaki.”