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Big change for traffic through Awakino Tunnel Bypass project

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Motorists travelling on State Highway 3 through the Awakino Tunnel Bypass project site will notice a big change from the end of this week.

On Friday 11 September traffic will be directed off the existing route around Hammonds Hill onto the new road, which cuts through the hill. It will then return to the existing route over the weekend of Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September before switching back through Hammonds Hill permanently from Monday 14 September.

The traffic switch will allow for construction of a stock underpass to commence.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Acting Portfolio Delivery Manager Jo Wilton says moving traffic on the Friday provides one day to monitor how motorists react to the new alignment, and shifting them back for the weekend allows minor improvements to be made where required, prior to the long-term switch for construction of the underpass.

“This is an exciting milestone for the project. With this change, motorists will start to get more of a sense for what the completed route will look like.

“Taking the road through Hammonds Hill, rather than around, is the first major traffic switch of many for the project in order to construct the new road.”

Ahead of the switch, a temporary road has been prepared with a chip seal surface to allow traffic on it. This temporary road, constructed in winter, will allow construction to start on the stock underpass with enough time to complete it this summer season.

The focus for the project over the coming months will be making the most of the warm, fine weather to prepare the site and start construction of the permanent road.

 The Awakino Tunnel Bypass project is scheduled for completion in mid-2021.

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