Roading is once again in the headlines this week, for once with a positive news story which makes a welcome change.
Yesterday the Northern Infrastructure Forum (NIF), which NRC is a proud member of, released the NZIER report
“State highway network investments – assessing the wider economic benefits”. Sounds like a dry piece of reading, but for those of us interested in a functioning road network, it delivers some gems. Zeroing in on two major planned works – the Warkworth to Welsford (W2W) and Cambridge to Piarere (C2P) 4 lane extension projects, the report showed the game-changing economic benefits these projects will deliver. These two examples ram home the point that the right roading investments up and down the country give back a huge contribution to the economy, far beyond just saving time for those who happen to drive on them.
Simon Bridges, the Chair of both the NIF and the NRC Transport and Logistics Advisory Group said “The findings show that, once operational, each of these projects will add up to $500 million a year to New Zealand’s GDP. Over a 20-year period, each project would pump over $6 billion into the economy (in net present value terms), compared to a situation where the investment had never taken place.
“This fully vindicates the commitment that both the Government and the Opposition have made to W2W and C2P in recent weeks, and sends a powerful message about the role of world-class infrastructure as an enabler of growth.
“As New Zealand looks to recover from the post-Covid economic slump and lay the foundations for a more productive, prosperous economy and society, infrastructure is key.”
Two roading projects unleashing $1 billion of GDP per annum is the definition of a no brainer. As you can see below, the benefits of investing in critical highways speak for themselves.
Enjoy the spring sunshine.
Key project details (based on 2020 prices)
• $2.1 billion construction cost
• Up to 16% reduction in travel time
• Total number of crashes to reduce by 10%
• $399.2 million contribution to GDP each year through improved supply chain efficiency
• $2.6 million contribution to GDP each year through improved resilience
• $95.3 million contribution to GDP each year through agglomeration
• $631 million construction cost
• 18% reduction in travel time
• 70% reduction in high-severity crashes
• $351.8 million contribution to GDP each year through improved supply chain efficiency
• $48.9 million contribution to GDP each year through improved resilience
• $86 million contribution to GDP each year through agglomeration