The road ahead
by Andy Bryenton
Plans to upgrade and improve the safety and practicality of Dargaville’s roads were put on the table last Wednesday, May 15, as representatives of the New Zealand Transport Agency came to town to host a community workshop.
In the spotlight was the Twin Coast Discovery Highway, a route that is already of substantial tourist interest, but which the NZTA have highlighted for improvement. As this road (which comes south from Rawene’s ferry crossing and through the Waipoua Forest in our region) passes directly through the heart of Dargaville, it was a chance for citizens and business owners to have their say alongside elected representatives and employees of the Kaipara District Council. A diverse group, including the mayor, attended and took part in exercises to theorise and workshop ideas addressing traffic movement, safety, ease of access and more.
The day-long workshop uncovered several ideas to make local roads more efficient, from clear visible signage through to traffic control for a pair of bustling intersections in Dargaville, both at Hokianga Road’s crossing with Normanby Street and also the Awakino Road corner, which sees a large volume of hospital traffic. NZTA says that this current consultancy phase helps build the business case for funding, with eight towns along the Twin Coast route included in the plan.