February 15, 2017
An expressway was dedicated on the Kapiti Coast on New Zealand’s North Island. The grand opening of this four-lane route took place “[w]ith the smell of new road seal lingering in the air,” reported the New Zealand Herald. The Kapiti Expressway covers 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Mackays Crossing, which is located just north of the town of Paekākāriki, to the vicinity of Peka Peka Beach.
“We are right now on the best road in New Zealand,” proclaimed Simon Bridges, New Zealand’s minister of transport, during the dedication ceremony for the Kapiti Expressway. As part of that Wednesday morning event, Bridges helped cut a ribbon to officially mark the debut of the expressway. He was joined in those duties by Nathan Guy, a member of the New Zealand Parliament; a portion of the Kapiti Expressway runs through the electoral district that he was representing at the time.
Bridges also took time during those festivities to talk about various people expressing appreciation for the new route. He said, “One elderly gentleman told me yesterday that he had been wanting this since he was a young man, and he thought it was a fable, but today the fable becomes reality, and it’s very exciting to see.”
Janet Holborow, deputy mayor of the Kapiti Coast District Council (the local government body for that region of North Island), underscored how opposition to the expressway also played a major role throughout the construction process. Holborow noted, “Strong passionate initial resistance from some parts of our community has led, I believe, to this project setting new standards in community engagement and collaboration.”
Photo Credit: DarrylJH (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License at Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0
For more information on the opening of the Kapiti Expressway, please check out Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway north of Wellington opens – NZ Herald