Roadworks season is coming in hot for the Bay of Plenty, with major road rebuilding getting underway this week in Rotorua.
This will be followed by work on two other sites from next week near Pongakawa and Edgecumbe.
Rebuilding roads is disruptive, due to the need to remove the current road structure before replacing it, explains Roger Brady, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Bay of Plenty System Manager.
“There’s a process that our contractors have to go through to remove the old road before constructing the new one. Each step is important and has to be completed before they can move onto the next task. We test as we go, so we can catch issues as they appear and then resolve them.
“Depending on the length of the rebuild this tends to take 4-6 weeks and require stop/go or road closures with detours where possible, to manage traffic past or around the site. The exact traffic management setup is based on minimising overall impact and any additional travel time requirements for road users.
“Some sites like the one near Edgecumbe require a longer duration to complete, as we are rebuilding the full width of more than a kilometre of road.”
It’s set to be a significant summer of roadworks for the region, with over 250 lane kilometres of road being either rebuilt or resealed, mostly before the end of March 2024. This is alongside a major programme of infrastructure improvements, such as Takitimu North Link near Tauranga and Stage Two of the State Highway 30 Eastern Corridor programme in Rotorua.
Early season work also includes a three week closure of SH5 at the Utuhina Bridge in Rotorua, from Monday 25 September to allow work to take place that will extend the life of the bridge.
“It pays to be informed about where roadworks are taking place over summer,” says Mr Brady. “This way road users can plan their route in advance, saving time and money. The best tool to help with this is the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner which provides real-time updates on the status of the state highway network.
“We’re committed to making the most of the summer ahead and improving the condition of the network across the Bay of Plenty. Our crews will be working hard, and I encourage everyone to support them, by thinking about their journeys and being respectful when driving through a worksite.”