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Mangorewa Gorge closures start next week

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Daily closures of the State Highway 36 Tauranga Direct/Pyes Pa Rd between Rotorua and Tauranga will begin next Monday to enable rock blasting to be carried out to widen the highway.

Daily closures of the State Highway 36 Tauranga Direct/Pyes Pa Rd between Rotorua and Tauranga will begin next Monday to enable rock blasting to be carried out to widen the highway.

From next Monday 18 May SH36 will be closed each weekday between 9am and 4pm for approximately three months. The highway will be open each day before 9am and after 4pm to enable commuter traffic to pass through and will be open all day Monday June 1 on Queens Birthday weekend.

The closures are part of the Mangorewa/Kaharoa Gorge Improvement project, which is being carried out on behalf of the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) by the Rotorua District Council. The project involves the replacement of the one-lane Ohaupara Stream and Mangorewa Stream bridges with two-lane bridges, and the realignment and widening of a 900m stretch of SH36.

NZTA Regional Director Harry Wilson says once completed the project will improve safety for all road users in the Mangorewa Gorge area, including cyclists.

Mr Wilson says, “The daily closures are necessary to enable rock blasting to be safely carried out in this narrow gorge environment. While we recognise this will be inconvenient for some motorists, our project team is doing everything they can to minimise the disruption and have timed the closures to provide a window for commuter traffic to pass through at the beginning and end of each day.”

A number of billboards and electronic signs on SH36 will update motorists on daily conditions once the closures commence. These will include signposts at either end of SH36 (at Hamurana & Barkes Corner). Weekly email updates advising of project progress and closure times are also available by emailing: gorge@rdc.govt.nz

Once the rock blasting is finished in approximately August this year, SH36 will reopen with some one way stop/go operations or traffic signals and minor delays are expected. The project is targeted for completion by March 2010.

For more information please contact:

Julie Hannam
Regional Communications Advisor
NZ Transport Agency
T      07 958 7238
M     027 294 2649
julie.hannam@nzta.govt.nz
 

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