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NZTA opening new Ruby Bay Bypass for walkover and fun run


A large section of the $30 million Ruby Bay Bypass project is being opened to the public this Saturday (20 February) from 12noon until 6pm.

A large section of the $30 million Ruby Bay Bypass project is being opened to the public this Saturday (20 February) from 12noon until 6pm.

NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) State Highway Manager Rob Whight says he is delighted that local schools will be holding a fundraising fun run event on the bypass before it is finished and opened to traffic later this year.

“Volunteers from Mapua, Mahana and Tasman Christian schools originally approached NZTA asking for permission to hold a fun-run on the project. Many of the schools’ students have visited the site during the past 18 months and were keen to try out the new road before any vehicles did.”

From that initial idea the event has gathered momentum and visitors to the open day will have plenty to keep them entertained.

Mr Whight says that it is exciting to see how many people are interested in the NZTA’s large projects.

“Much of the work on the Ruby Bay Bypass has been going on away from the public eye so everyone involved in the project is looking forward to showing visitors the great progress we are making.”

Activities and attractions on the day will include fun runs organised by Nelson Triathlon Club, a bike and trike course, helicopter and haycart rides, bouncy castle, food and drink stalls and educational displays.  Many of the trucks, diggers and graders used on the project will be on-site and children will be able to see how huge the equipment really is, with a chance to clamber over some of the massive tyres.

Originally scheduled for completion by March 2011, the 10.7km bypass is now expected to be in use several months earlier as the project team are on track to finish work before the end of this year.
The Ruby Bay Bypass will provide a more direct route between Motueka and Nelson by realigning SH60 inland away from the Mapua and Ruby Bay townships. With its consistent driving speed of 100km, four passing lanes (two in each direction) and a reduction to only 11 side road accesses, compared with the 145 access points on the existing coastal route, the new bypass will improve efficiency and safety on the highway.