The project will be delivered as New Zealand’s second public-private partnership (PPP) for a state highway, after the Transmission Gully motorway project in Wellington.
The ‘net present’ contract price for delivering the motorway through the PPP is NZ$709.5m (£417.4m).
Under the PPP contract, the Northern Express Group will finance, design, construct, manage and maintain the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway for the 25 years that will follow the expected five year period to build the motorway. Full ownership of the highway will remain with the public sector. The aim is to have the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway open for traffic by 2022.
The equity partners of Northern Express Group are Accident Compensation Corporation, Public Infrastructure Partners (managed by Morrison & Co PIP), Acciona Concesiones and Fletcher Building.
NZ Transport Agency chief executive Fergus Gammie said the signing of the PPP contract between the Transport Agency and the Northern Express Group for the 18.5km motorway marks a major milestone for Auckland and Northland. “State Highway 1 between Pūhoi and Warkworth is a key transport link connecting Northland to the upper North Island freight triangle of Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga,” he said. “The Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway forms the first section of the Government’s Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance, aimed at enabling economic growth by providing a safer and more reliable transport link for the region.”
The new motorway will extend the Northern Motorway (SH1) from the Johnstone's Hill tunnels just south of Pūhoi to a point north of Warkworth.