Improvements to SH43 - Forgotten World Highway are a major focus for the Taranaki Regional Transport Committee.
Funding approved for sealing of SH43
A $9.6m Provincial Growth Fund investment to seal the remaining 12km unsealed section of SH43 was announced in December 2019. Physical works were scheduled to begin in the second half of 2020 and are expected to take up to three years to complete.SH43 funding welcomed | Project overview (NZ Transport Agency)(external link)
SH43 connects Stratford with Taumarunui over a distance of approximately 149km. The road is relatively narrow with many sharp turns and changes in grade as it passes over a number of saddles and through the Tangarakau Gorge. 12km of the route through the Tangarakau Gorge is unsealed.
SH43's designation as the 'Forgotten World Highway' harks to the existence of abandoned settlements along its length and its relative isolation.
It provides access to several walking tracks and other attractions including the village of Whangamomona.
In 2017 the Taranaki Regional Council commissioned an investigation by Abley Transportation Consultants, The investigation concluded that improvements were needed, including complete sealing.
In December 2017 the NZ Transport Agency started work on a business case for completing the sealing of SH43.