Rodney Times : December 9th 2010
www.rodneytimes.co.nz Thursday, December 9, 2010 *Conditions apply WE BRING OUR STORE TO YOUR DOOR Complete in-home decorating service Call Julia or Lauretta now for your *free house call for your colour scheme, measure and quotations. Covering the whole of Rodney. 12 Mill Lane, Warkworth Ph (09) 425 8187 • www.guthriebowron.co.nz Priced to suit all budgets • Paint • Curtains • Venetians • Carpet • Vinyl flooring • Wallpaper • Lighting 2592234AI Ghost town feared At grade intersection -- 2 lane connection to existing SH1 Proposed realignment and connection to Woodcocks Road / Carran Road and West Coast Western Collector Future connection to Matakana Minor upgrading of Woodcocks Road Better access: The map shows the alternative proposed by Warkworth Interchange Group. Inset: Roading consultant Bevan Woodward opposes the motorway being built, but says if it is inevitable this single access point north of Warkworth is not enough. By DELWYN DICKEY CONTINUED Page 2 VARIOUS groups are scrambling to find common ground on an alterna- tive proposal following NZ Trans- port Agency plans for a single inter- change on the new State Highway 1 a few kilometres north of Wark- worth. The single access point is a great opportunity to define the town'', Rodney ward councillor Penny Webster says. Warkworth has been divided in the past with the bypass along Browns Rd to Hill St -- currently SH1. The schools will now be a part of the town again.'' Mahurangi College and Wark- worth Primary School say they are happy to see less traffic, but busi- nesses fear Warkworth will become a ghost town. A lobby group, which includes the business sssociation, is chaired by Stockyard Falls retail development owner Neil Barr. The Woodcocks Interchange Group (WIG), is concerned a single off-ramp north of the town will have a detrimental effect on business in both the industrial and central busi- ness areas. It will meet NZTA rep- resentatives today in Warkworth at 2pm. WIG has appointed consultants to report on its proposals. While we have concerns for busi- nesses we are looking for a solution that will benefit the entire town,'' Mr Barr says. The WIG proposal includes the scaling down of the connection between Woodcocks Rd and the proposed northern interchange to a two-lane rather than a four-lane road. This needs to be confirmed based on future traffic volumes but on cur- rent figures seems a reasonable pro- posal. WIG says it would likely off- set the cost of a second interchange and the upgrading of Woodcocks Rd. With a western connection, in addition to the northern link, vehicles would be able to travel directly to the west, avoiding the college, to travel either north or south or over to the west coast. A Matakana connection could be incorporated in any of the scenarios, but planners think it may not be required as the traffic volumes through the Hill St intersection will be less with the bypass, and more balanced. This needs to be backed up by traffic modelling. Wellsford roading construction company Wharehine managing director Steve Dodd says access north of the town makes good sense and, along with the eventual Matakana Rd link, will keep heavy trucks out of town. The company has quarries at Wellsford and Matakana, with trucks travelling through Warkworth, and to SH16 along Woodcocks Rd. An add-on at Woodcocks Rd makes sense if the traffic can be divided so heavy trucks have easy access to the industrial area and other traffic is diverted away from schools,'' he says. There is some merit in this says Rodney Local Board deputy chair- man Steven Garner, who is also on the Mahurangi College board of trustees. While the schools don't want to see any increase in traffic it's important that Warkworth is not commercially disadvantaged,'' he says. Warkworth Primary School is reached through the notorious Hill St intersection, and Rodney Local Board member Tracey Martin says both Mahurangi College and Wark- worth Primary are concerned about student safety. She says the college board is pre- pared to look for common ground with WIG. If we go into this in a fractured way, the NZ Transport Agency will do what they want. We all agree we want the road.'' An interchange at Woodcocks Rd is not favoured by Mahurangi Col- lege principal David Macleod. It would be a disaster for the col- lege if the off-ramp was on Woodcocks Rd. The increased traffic would increase noise and pollution levels around the school, create safety issues for our students and make college access more difficult. To channel it all past the college, then through four or five sets of traffic lights, including the Hill St intersection, would not make sense.'' Independent transport consultant Bevan Woodward of Warkworth opposes the planned highway altogether, which he says the country can't afford.
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