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Gearing up for upgrade of road to Eastland Port

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Rakaiatane Road, which connects State Highway 35 Wainui Road to Eastland Port and Kaiti Beach Road, will undergo a significant upgrade early next year to make access safer, smoother, quieter and more efficient for all road users.

Tairāwhiti Roads General Manager Dave Hadfield says the upgrade will future-proof Rakaiatane Road.

“The road will be rebuilt using hot-mix asphalt and we will also move utilities out of the road corridor,” Mr Hadfield says.

“This will mean we can preserve the smooth road surface for longer, as future utilities work will not require us to dig up and patch the road. By removing service covers and valve lids from the road, we will also significantly reduce noise and vibration issues from traffic passing over them.

“The upgrade will support economic growth by including a new road layout that will assist heavy vehicles turning in and out of the port more efficiently. We will also install two new crossing points for pedestrians.”

Another aim of the project is to help boost tourism by providing a key link to Puhi Kai Iti - Cook Landing Site national historic reserve which is being upgraded as part of council’s Navigate Tairāwhiti programme of work.

“The Navigate Tairāwhiti team, utility providers, professional services and road construction companies are working together to ensure this, and associated projects, run as smoothly as possible,” Mr Hadfield says.

The upgrade is being built in four sections to seamlessly work in with other major projects in the vicinity, notably the Navigate Tairāwhiti project. It is expected to take four weeks, depending on weather conditions, starting in March 2019. Disruption will be kept to a minimum and one lane will be kept open throughout construction.

Preparatory work is underway, with utility services being upgraded where necessary and relocated out of the road corridor to ensure any future repairs do not adversely affect the road surface or traffic flow. Ducts and a new water main will be installed as part of the project. The new ducts will improve access to underground utilities and a new water main will also be installed alongside the Hirini Street section of Rakaiatane Road.

Tairāwhiti Roads, WSP Opus and Downer engineers are working together on the upgrade. The project is funded through contributions from the NZ Transport Agency, Gisborne District Council and Provincial Growth Fund.

Map showing area of works on Rakaiatane Road.

Map showing area of works on Rakaiatane Road.

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