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Project introduction

A project to improve safety and efficiency for road users on the stretch of State Highway 16 between Brigham Creek and Waimauku in Auckland.

  • Project type

    Safety improvements
  • Project status


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About the project

Between 2010 and July 2019 three people were killed, and 29 people were seriously injured whilst travelling along State Highway 16 within the project area. Over a third of these crashes were caused by drivers losing control and running off the road or crossing the centreline and hitting an oncoming vehicle. This makes it one of the highest-risk rural roads in the country. 

This road is an important link for the local community, as well as providing resilience within the wider Upper North Island state highway network. Over 36,000 vehicles a day use the route between Brigham Creek and Kumeu, and over 15,000 vehicles are travelling between Huapai and Waimauku each day. Residential and business growth has increased and will continue to do so as the North West develops. This increases vehicle numbers and puts pressure on our network.

The community recognises the need for safety and capacity improvements along this route. We are investigating what needs to be done before more people lose their lives. 

To make SH16 safer, we’re looking at making a number of improvements:

  • Putting in flexible road safety barriers to catch drivers who leave their lane before hitting something harder like trees, poles, ditches or other vehicles. Flexible barriers will be installed along the road except between Taupaki and Kumeu.
  • Adding extra lanes between Brigham Creek and Taupaki roundabout from two lanes to four (two in each direction) to help improve travel times in the short-term, ahead of a longer-term improvements.
  • Putting in a flush median, which is a painted area in the middle of the road to give you more room and a safe place to wait before turning, while traffic can continue to flow.
  • SH16/Coatesville Riverhead Highway intersection improvements to help traffic flow better and make it safer to turn.
  • Between Brigham Creek and Kumeu we are creating a dedicated shared path for people who walk and cycle to provide genuine travel choice.
  • Between Huapai and Waimauku, we are widening bridges that are too narrow and making it safer to turn into Foster, Station and Factory Roads.
  • Between Huapai and Waimauku creating a wider road shoulder so there’s more space for people who cycle.

The focus of this project is to improve safety in the area which will improve the wider transport network’s efficiency. Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are investigating plans for the longer-term to address future growth, including in Auckland’s North West.

Read more about these long term plans(external link)

Project staging

There are two stages of this project. Stage one runs from Huapai to Waimauku and stage two is between the Brigham Creek roundabout and Kumeu. We’ve started on the section between Huapai and Waimauku where there are slightly less complexities and where half of the crashes were head-on. Work will start on this section while we confirm aspects of the design for stage two.

Project timeframes

Design for Stage one is now complete, and we have begun preparing for initial works. We are continuing to work with landowners to buy the land we need to construct the project.

Enabling works on Berry’s Bridge have now been completed. The works were required to relocate a gas main were initially delayed due to COVID 19.

In September 2020 we received approvals from Auckland Council for our resource consent and our notice of requirement to deliver Stage One. At the same time, we started the process to get a construction partner on board to deliver the works. However, in late October we received an appeal on the notice of requirement to the Environment Court.

This means that our designation is unable to be confirmed within the Auckland Unitary Plan at this time, and we need to place the project on hold until there is a resolution on the appeal. When the appeal process is complete, we will know if we can restart procurement for a construction partner and let stakeholders and the community know what our timeframe is for delivering Stage 1 of the project. 

We are disappointed to not be able to progress Stage one at this time, however, we are continuing the design for Stage two (Kumeū to Brigham Creek) and our team is now progressing the preliminary design. Initial site surveys to inform the planning are underway.  

Updated timeframes are shown below.

Stage one: Huapai to Waimauku*

*Timeline is indicative only and subject to change.

Stage two: Brigham Creek to Kumeu*

*Timeline is indicative only and subject to change.