This summer, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency contractors have resealed or replaced 550 kilometres of road surface in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region. That’s approximately 10 per cent of the entire regional network.*
Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations, Rob Campbell, knows that this is commendable effort in the face of significant challenges.
“Through weather and COVID-19 resource challenges we have still delivered a massive programme of work which has improved the quality of the state highway network, and for this we must extend our thanks to our contractors.”
Surfacing improvements at sites on SH1 at Maungatautari and SH29 at Tauriko are the icing on the cake of a productive summer on the state highway network.
“Highlights of the season include several high-profile resurfacing sites on the Kaimai Range (State Highway 29), and drainage and surface replacements on SH2 Takitimu Drive in Tauranga. We also planned and executed a joined-up effort on SH36 that saw contractors complete over 17,000m2 of chip seal, 750 tonnes of asphalt resurfacing and the re-build of two sections of road,” says Mr Campbell.
Between now and the start of the next road maintenance period in October, contractors are focused on sustaining safe roads during the wetter and colder months of the year. This includes reactive maintenance to road conditions; drainage works and standard maintenance activities such as litter collection and signage repair and replacement.
“While reflecting on a successful summer, we are also looking forward to the next maintenance season. Our contractors are already planning their delivery of this work”, says Mr Campbell.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the delivery of our maintenance programmes and fix more roads efficiently and safely. Combining multiple work activities into one location is the way of the future, so we are more likely to partially or fully close roads moving forward.
“Although this may be more disruptive to some road users, it allows us to look at how we can bring teams together to complete more work in the same place at the same time, creating efficiencies within a safe working environment.
“We will also review whether we can enable safety improvements to be implemented hand in hand with maintenance work, as we have done at Maungatautari, where new road markings and median barriers will make this section of road much safer.”
Over the 2021/22 financial year Waka Kotahi has invested over $500 million into state highway road maintenance, $120 million of that has been invested into the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region over this period.
Next season Waka Kotahi will invest over $150 million into state highway maintenance locally, our highest level of investment into the region ever.
And over the next three years, $2.9 billion will be invested in in road maintenance programmes across New Zealand.
This critical maintenance work is part of the overall Road to Zero strategy, providing safe, high-quality roads and paths for people to travel on.
*Figures from October 2021 – March 2022 – Full summer road renewal season in Waikato/Bay of Plenty