DarthKermit: It is slowly extending both north and south from Auckland. Once the Waikato expressway is finished in about five years, it'll be as far as Cambridge. I'm not sure if there are any plans in the near future to extend it further south than this.
MikeAqua: I though the plan was to bypass Cambridge as well?DarthKermit: It is slowly extending both north and south from Auckland. Once the Waikato expressway is finished in about five years, it'll be as far as Cambridge. I'm not sure if there are any plans in the near future to extend it further south than this.
Jase2985:MikeAqua: I though the plan was to bypass Cambridge as well?DarthKermit: It is slowly extending both north and south from Auckland. Once the Waikato expressway is finished in about five years, it'll be as far as Cambridge. I'm not sure if there are any plans in the near future to extend it further south than this.
it does bypass Cambridge
MikeAqua: Just checked and the Cambridge end is visible on google satellite near the golf course just south of Cambridge.
alasta: Aside from the shambles on SH1 north of Wellington I actually don't think our state highways are that bad. For me the main bottlenecks are the Kaikoura, Nelson and Rimutaka ranges and there isn't much that can realistically be done about them because they're constrained by geography.
Having said that I suppose a couple of passing lanes between Blenheim and Pelorus Bridge might be handy.
SH1 from Auckland to Hamilton: Two big cities 1.5hr drive from each other. No train service (except northern explorer once every two days) I think we should fix this with a 160kmph hourly service, but this thread is about State Highways. Only 2 flights a weekday. Terrain is pretty road friendly too.
Scott3:Transmission gully - super expensive due to terrain, loss making (independently evaluated) cost befit ratio.
NZ traffic has been pretty steady (despite growing population):
NZ Road vehicle kilometres travelled (Billion's of Km)
Source: Ministry of Transport
This data seems to consistent with other devolved nations, where KM per capita is generally trending down, and Total KM is generally fairly steady or downward trending, along with falling rates of driver licence holding amongst younger generations.
Current road user tax is way less than it costs to build & maintain our roading network. Rates & General taxation substantially top our roading budget. I think this should change, and the cost of roads should fall more directly on those who derive benefit from them, Particularly the trucking industry which due to road subsidies has an unfair advantage over other modes of freight such as coastal shipping.
With this in mind we, if we want better roads, with steady vehicle KM numbers we need to be prepared to pay more in tax / road user chargers. If we want to move this burden from general taxation (i.e. drop GST or income tax), and onto road users, then we need to be preprepared to pay a lot more in road user charges.
Also remember in the case of duplicate highways such as "Puhoi to Welsford", we will need to pay to keep the current SH1 open (although maintained to a lower standard), in addition to the 4 new lanes of highway, i.e. 2 lanes -> 6 lanes of maintenance cost, or roughly tipple....
Maintaining roads isn't cheap, and we should configure our network to avoid placing the burden of excessive road maintenance (given recent statistics of static traffic volumes) on future generations. I look at the USA where they are reverting (lightly used) roads back to gravel, and bridges are literally falling down due to insufficient maintenance funding. I don't want us to become like that.
Transmission Gully is needed.
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ScuL: I will raise again (as I have done many times) that NZ needs more 2 + 1 roads.
It's a cheap upgrade from single file State Highways, but has so many more advantages:
* segregation by barrier
* passing lanes to improve flow on uphill sections / to get around trucks and slow vehicles
* cheap to build (far cheaper than 2x2) and easy to convert from 1x1
* limited space required
* limited cost to maintain
Many European countries with low population density use this intermediate solution (highly popular in Scandinavia) and it works exceptionally well.
(and of course I mean these should exist for long and continuous stretches, not the odd 3km here or there up hill)