Major infrastructure works to make State Highway 3 safer between Waitara and Bell Block will get underway early in the new year.
In early January, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency contractors will begin installing stormwater infrastructure to support a new roundabout and underpass at the SH3/Princess Street intersection that will be built later in the year.
Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships Linda Stewart says this is a significant milestone for the safety improvement project, which involves building roundabouts at high-risk intersections, the installation of median barriers and other safety improvements.
“We know people will be excited to see major works getting underway on this long-awaited project. The safety improvements planned for this route will significantly reduce deaths and serious injuries on this busy stretch of highway and provide safer access for locals.”
The initial works involve laying a 760m long pipe under the ground alongside SH3 from Manukorihi Soccer fields to Princess Street.
“Waka Kotahi and New Plymouth District Council are working together, with invaluable guidance from our iwi partners, to deliver the new stormwater pipe.
“The new stormwater infrastructure will address current flooding issues around Rahiri and Princess streets in addition to carrying stormwater runoff from the new roundabout at Princess Street when it’s built,” says Ms Stewart.
The work is expected to take about five months with crews on site between 6.30am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, and some Saturdays when required.
For the safety of those using the road and our road workers, SH3 will be reduced to one lane at the site during work times, with Stop/Go in place, managed by temporary traffic lights.
Light vehicles heading north will be detoured off the state highway through Waitara township, adding about 12 minutes to journeys. Northbound freight and heavy vehicles will continue to use SH3.
All southbound traffic will continue to use SH3 with delays of approximately six minutes.
A number of safety measures will be implemented to ensure the safety of Waitara residents and people using the road while the detour is in place, including temporary speed limits, temporary pedestrian crossings and road markers and bollards to separate and slow traffic.
The detour route will be managed by Waka Kotahi during the works. Motorists are urged to abide by the traffic management in place and be aware of pedestrians and cyclists.
This project is delivering on New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy, Road to Zero 2020 – 2030, which aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by 40 percent over the next decade.