Innovative pavement repairs planned for SH2 Ormond-Matawai


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to expect 10-15 minute delays on SH2 from next Monday (1 May) until 1 July as pavement repairs begin on the Waerengaahika Straights.

Contractors will use a method called ‘foamed bitumen stabilisation’ to improve the pavement.

This treatment, while it hasn’t yet been used in Tairāwhiti, is a commonly used method in other parts of the North Island. It recycles existing road materials while injecting foamed bitumen into the pavement, which rejuvenates a heavily deteriorated road into one that is more robust and has a longer life than traditional pavement.

“With SH2 still closed between Napier and Wairoa, there’s increased traffic between Gisborne and Ōpōtiki so we’re ensuring the road can withstand that increase,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Maintenance and Operations Jaclyn Hankin.

“Heading into winter we also want to improve the resilience of this critical route and repair existing damage,” says Ms Hankin.

“Weather has impacted this route multiple times causing slips, dropouts and instability. We know these disruptions are frustrating and have wide reaching impacts on businesses, health services, events, goods and services, and people’s lives.”

Contractors will begin next Monday working on the Waerengaahika Straights, and will move north on SH2 to Matawai, expecting to complete the improvements two months later – by 1 July.

Ms Hankin says the foamed bitumen technique is less disruptive to the network as it can be driven on almost immediately after completion and has fewer issues caused by wet weather during construction.

“It’s also friendlier to the environment, with carbon emissions being 30-50% less than the emissions created from traditional road construction techniques.

“Because foamed bitumen stabilisation optimises the existing road rather than reconstructing the pavement entirely, construction time is significantly reduced and it takes approximately half the time to complete the works compared with the traditional approach.

The works will have stop/go traffic management in place with one lane open under a 30km/hr speed restriction.

“We’d like to thank drivers for their patience as we continue to repair the state highway network after Cyclone Gabrielle,” says Ms Hankin.