Jeremy Baker

Jeremy Baker

Ōtaki Expressway first drive

Today I drove on the new Ōtaki Expressway from Pēka Pēka bypassing Ōtaki township for the first time. It was a great road to drive on, and despite it being only two days until Christmas there was barely any traffic. There was a very short slowdown as traffic merged back into the single lane highway beyond Ōtaki.

There has been a lot of debate about the expressways being built north of Pōneke (Wellington). I wish that these had been matched by similar investment in rail. But these roads are replacing very unsafe single lane highways, and provide resilience through a second road north out of Wellington.

Ōtaki township can now become its own centre, rather constantly jammed with state highway traffic.

The final stage of the expressways will take the modern road past Levin, where two state highways head off in different directions.

I strongly support upgrading rail between Pōneke and Palmerston North. But these expressways are also critical.

Here are some photos from traffic cameras on the new road today:

traffic camera view of a new, largely empty expressway traffic camera view of a new, largely empty expressway