Good progress has been made at a number of worksites across the Bay of Plenty region this week, with some even having the finishing touches applied.
An early start to the season has been helped by more settled weather over recent weeks, allowing sealing programmes to chip away at their programme of work.
Similarly, the first rebuilds are nearing completion, with the site at Rotorua Airport almost complete.
The best news of the week was in Rotorua at the Utuhina Stream Bridge site, where the road closure was lifted three days ahead of schedule due to the excellent work of all involved.
This promising start needs to be maximised, says Frankie Evans, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's Bay of Plenty Journey Manager Frankie Evans.
“Our road maintenance programme is all about momentum over the summer period. We’ve started well, and if we can continue to progress well this side of Christmas, we will have set ourselves up well to bring things home early in the New Year.
“The weather events earlier this year showed how even the best laid plans can be brought to their knees. We’re doing everything we can to put ourselves in the best possible position, but we’ll need a little luck to be on our side as well.
All is not rosy though, with reports of abusive behaviour towards road workers at the Utuhina Stream Bridge site making national headlines.
“To say this behaviour is disappointing would be a massive understatement.
“The Fulton Hogan team working on that site has done a magnificent job to get through the work required and open the road up ahead of time. They should be applauded, not abused.”
With a long weekend coming up, road works at most sites will be paused at midday (or close to it) on Friday 20 October before resuming again on Tuesday, October 24.
This will help road users travelling over the holiday period make the most of their time.
With so much work happening the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner (journeys.nzta.govt.nz) is the best place for information on the status of the state highway network. With live updates on worksites and other road hazards, Journey Planner can help road users plot the best route to their destination.
Bay of Plenty
· Takitimu North Link Stage One: Earthworks have commenced across a number of sites. On Wairoa Road, stop/go traffic management will be in place while trucks are crossing Wairoa Road, and 30km/h speed limits will be in place at all times within the construction area. Minden Road has a 30km/h speed limit throughout the construction zone. A temporary haul road into the Te Mete Valley is being constructed to support the summer earthworks season. The single-lane haul road will be separated from SH2. Road users should be aware of the new road layout and temporary speed limit of 60km/h on SH2 alongside the haul road. More information.
· Cambridge Road: Construction work to complete the new Cambridge Road overbridge, between Bethlehem and Tauriko continues. Work to connect the bridge with Cambridge and Moffat roads and utility services will be completed in three phases. Phase 1 involves building a diversion road allowing traffic to flow during these works. While these works take place there will be slower speed limits in place on Cambridge Road, shoulder closures and when necessary, stop/go traffic management.
· Cambridge Road (East): Tauranga City Council has commenced slip repair work at Cambridge Road East near the St Andrews Drive roundabout. Cambridge Road is now one-lane only while the work is underway, drivers heading into the city detour via St Andrews Drive, Castlewold Drive and Wakefield Drive. Drivers coming from the city are to use Cambridge Road as usual. There is a 30km/h speed restriction past the work site. The slip was caused by recent weather and the repair team has finished clearing the slipped soil and has now begun constructing a retaining wall to help prevent future slips. The repair is expected to be completed in mid-December, weather dependent.
· Totara Street: Tauranga City Council will be completing road construction on Totara Street, between Maui Street and Triton Avenue, in November. When work takes place traffic will be reduced to one lane (open for travel between Mount Maunganui and Hewletts Road). Totara Street will be closed to ALL traffic heading to Mount Maunganui from Hewletts Road, with a detour via Newton Road. More information.
· SH2 Bay Link: People travelling between Baypark and Bayfair will continue to see several road layout changes over the next few months with the project nearing completion. Closures will vary night to night, depending on site requirements and progress, and people are asked to allow extra time, follow signposted detours and drive with caution through the project site. To minimise impact, works are undertaken at night where possible with the aim to minimise disruption to people travelling through the area. More information.
· SH29 Takitimu Drive Toll Road (TDTR): A reduced speed limit of 80km/h is in place while contractor crews are working behind the barriers.
· SH2 Fifteenth Avenue: Work continues on the upgrade of the Fifteenth Avenue / SH2 / Cameron Road intersection. Work is currently underway at the northeast and northwest (SH2 and Fifteenth Avenue) corners while contractors work to complete the pram crossings and footpaths. Temporary traffic management is in place, with a left turning lane closure. Traffic can still turn into Cameron Road from the SH2 using the centre lane. More information.
· SH2 Dive Cres: Maintenance work will be undertaken between Marsh Street, Dive Crescent and Mirrielees Road. Work will be conducted each night until Tuesday 17 October, between the hours of 7pm and 5am each night. 30km/h temporary speed limit and detour will be in place during working hours.
· SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road (TELTR): Traffic management for the Tauranga City Council led Pāpāmoa East Interchange construction project has been removed until construction of the interchange itself commences in early 2024. More detail will be shared closer to the time. More information.
The Quayside Properties Ltd led Rangiuru Business Park Interchange project continues. Temporary barriers have been installed on both sides of the TELTR, and these will be in place until approximately June 2024, with one lane available in either direction. A temporary speed limit of 70km/h applies through the site. More information.
Western Bay of Plenty
· SH2 Waihī to Ōmokoroa: Lane shifts and speed reductions are in place at four intersections (Sharp Road, Lockington Road / Matahui Road, Pahoia Road, Omokoroa Road) while testing activity and roundabout construction takes place. Road layout changes will occur as works progress. There will be intermittent stop/go traffic management which may cause longer delays, although typically there will be minor delays of one to two minutes. More information.
· SH2 Wairoa Cycleway: The Tauranga City Council cycleway construction continues with work taking place both under the Wairoa bridge and in the on-road shoulder at night. The cycleway is due to be completed by late-2023.
· SH2 Pongakawa: Road rebuilding continues. Work is expected to be complete by early November, during this time stop/go traffic management and a westbound detour option via Pukehina Road, Old Coach Road and Pongakawa Station Road will be in place. Delays and additional travel time are expected.
· SH30 Eastern Corridor Stage Two: There are multiple active worksites on SH30 / Te Ngae Road between Iles Road and Ōwhata Road. In places there is stop/go, lane shifts and shoulder closures, temporary pedestrian crossings, footpath closures, and/or reduced speed limits. Minor traffic delays are expected. Access for local residents and businesses will be maintained at all times. More information.
· SH30 Rotorua Airport: Road rebuilding between Rotorua Airport and 875 Te Ngae Road continues through to Friday 20 October. Temporary traffic management will be in place, and there will be one lane available in each direction for the majority of the works, to minimise disruption. These works are weather dependent, so may need to be postponed, delayed, and/or extended beyond the expected completion date. Significant disruption is expected at peak travel times.
· SH30/SH33 Te Ngae Junction: Surfacing of the SH30/ SH33 Te Ngae Junction roundabout continues. Temporary traffic management will be in place between 6pm and 6am Saturday 14 October and between 9am and 3:30pm Monday 16 October. This includes a reduced speed limit through site and three-way stop/go. Noise and vibration are associated with these works, which are expected to take four nights (weather permitting). Delays are expected. More information.
· SH33 Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa: Work on the SH33 safety improvements project continues from Tuesday 24 October with contractors working on a 5km section of road between Sun Valley Curves and Maniatutu Road. Work includes widening of the road corridor, installing safety barriers and improving drainage. Temporary traffic management will be in place including stop/go, lane shifts and shoulder closures while these works are underway. Minor traffic delays are expected. More information.
Eastern Bay of Plenty
· SH2 Edgecumbe: Road rehabilitation continues near the Omeheu Canal. Traffic management will be in place, including a full road closure from Monday 16 October until mid-November, 9am to 3:30pm each day. HPMV vehicles to detour via SH30 and SH34, all other vehicles can use Main Street, Otakiri Road and SH34. Work is expected to be complete by late November.
· SH2 Wainui to Ōpōtiki: Safety improvements between Parkinsons Road and Woodlands Road near Ōpōtiki continue. This work is expected to be complete in late 2023 (weather dependent). Works consists of shoulder widening and the installation of safety barriers. During this time road users can expect to see shoulder closures and/or stop/go operations in place, as required. Works will take place between 7am and 5pm each weekday. Please allow extra time for your journey as delays up to 10 minutes may be experienced.
· SH2 Manganuku Bridge, Waioeka Gorge: Investigations are ongoing for the most effective way of repairing the bridge. The reduced speed limit of 30km/h for heavy vehicles will remain in place until further notice. Heavy vehicles must adhere to the speed limit as those travelling at higher speeds will exert greater loads on the structure, which currently poses a significant risk.
· SH2 Waioeka Gorge Chipseal: Road resealing takes place between Ōpōtiki and Matawai from Wednesday 18 October, Monday to Friday each week. For the first two weeks road closures will be in place between 7am and 5pm, with 20-minute opening periods at 9am, midday and 2pm. Following the closures there will be approximately a week where stop/go and/or stop/stop traffic management and temporary speed limits will be in place while work continues. Work will finish at 2pm on Friday 20 October, ahead of Labour Day weekend. More information.