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The NZ Transport Agency says it has taken a significant step towards the completion of Auckland's Western Ring Route by starting negotiations with a preferred tenderer to the $270million Causeway Upgrade Project on State Highway 16 (Northwestern Motorway).
The preferred tenderer is a consortium consisting of Fulton Hogan, Leighton, Aecom, Sinclair Knight Mertz and Coffey Geotechnics.
The NZTA will now work with the consortium to refine design and costs for the causeway upgrade. No decision on the final contract will be made until the end of this year.
The NZTA's acting State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton, says the announcement is a positive development after a rigorous evaluation process that began in November last year.
"We are now starting more detailed discussions with the consortium to ensure it has the ability to deliver on its bid," Mr Mutton says. "The next few months are about ensuring the project will deliver the right outcomes, with the best value for money.
Mr Mutton says the NZTA considered bids from three tenderers made up of major construction and design companies in both New Zealand and Australia.
"All three consortia have been well engaged throughout the process and the NZTA is really impressed with the quality of tenders submitted" he says.
The causeway upgrade is a 4.5 kilometre-long project between the Great North Road Interchange and the Te Atatu interchange. The existing six-lane causeway will be widened to provide additional lanes in both directions. The shoulder lanes for buses will be widened and extended, and there will be improvements to the pedestrian and cycleway beside the motorway. The causeway will also be raised to prevent flooding during extreme tidal conditions, and better treatment of stormwater before it is discharged into the Waitemata Harbour.
The Causeway is a key part of the Western Ring Route - one of the Government's seven roads of national significance to help promote economic growth. Once completed, the Western Ring Route will provide a strategic alternative to SH1, central Auckland and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It will link with the Waterview Connection project and its new interchange at Great North Road - connecting SH16 with the Southwestern Motorway (SH20).
The NZ Transport Agency works to create transport solutions for all New Zealanders - from helping new drivers earn their licences, to leading safety campaigns to investing in public transport, state highways and local roads. Follow us on twitter @nzta_news.