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Gearing up for safety improvements to start on SH16 Huapai to Waimauku

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is preparing to start safety improvements work on SH16 Huapai to Waimauku when the COVID-19 lockdown ends.

This is the first stage of planned safety improvements on SH16 between Brigham Creek and Waimauku and includes widening the road and bridges, adding a flush median, flexible safety barriers and making it safer to make right-hand turns.

Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray says design work is now complete, and the project team is moving to secure land purchases and resource consents for construction to begin. This may take several months. 

In the meantime, physical works are on hold because of the nationwide COVID-19 response and the shut-down of non-essential works ordered by the government. This includes enabling works ahead of construction on SH16, which had been scheduled to start in April.

When the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and work gets under way, one of the first tasks will be to move a gas main at Berry’s Bridge (near Foster Road) so the bridge can be widened. “This is a significant piece of work and will require traffic management to keep the road open. We ask road users to be patient, allow extra time for their journey and keep to temporary speed limits to ensure the safety of our road crews.”

Subject to consent and landowner approval, construction work will start on the northern side of the road (the railway side) first. A construction contract for Stage 1 from Huapai to Waimauku is due to be awarded mid 2020.

Meanwhile, design work is continuing on Stage 2 of the project from the Brigham Creek roundabout to Kumeu.

Mr Thackwray says consultation with the community about the area in Stage 2 has identified a significant number of additional project requirements, including strong support for a shared walking and cycling path. As a result, Waka Kotahi has had to request a substantial increase in funding, with a decision expected mid-2020

“To minimise the amount of property required and traffic disruption, we need to coordinate building the shared path at the same time as upgrading the road. These changes and the need for more funding mean the project timeframes have changed. A start to construction is now expected late 2021.” 

“We are eager to keep making progress, so while we wait for the funding decision we will continue work on the design (including the new scope), site investigations and preparing for consents required. We will start more detailed site investigations mid-2020 with surveying, services, utility location, geotechnical investigations and bore holes. This will allow us to keep progressing our design work.”

“We want to do this once and do it right.”

“We know the community wants to see safety improvements as soon as possible. We acknowledge that this is taking longer than we originally anticipated and is frustrating for people. We are working to address the increased scope and cost of the project and keep momentum going so that as soon as we get the go-ahead we can start construction.”

For more, go to https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh16-brigham-creek-and-waimauku/(external link)

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