Geotechnical engineers have started testing the ground conditions around the future site of Stage Two of the Takitimu North Link between Te Puna and Ōmokoroa, one of the Government’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) projects.
The NZUP is investing $6.8 billion in road, public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure to get our cities moving by increasing transport choices, save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The programme provides a pipeline of jobs and work for the construction sector, with 700 people already working on projects.
A blessing ceremony marked the beginning of the work on Stage Two investigations last week near Wairoa Awa (River), with members of Te Paerangi, representing hapū of Pirirākau, Ngai Tamarawaho, Ngāti Hangarau, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Pango, and Ngāti Rangi, coming together with the project team.
“Waka Kotahi is working with Te Paerangi throughout this project and we acknowledge and respect the whenua in all the work we are doing. The Kaitiaki (cultural monitors) will oversee the work as guardians of Te Ao Māori,” says Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Jo Wilton.
The role of Kaitiaki is to monitor the site works to ensure that cultural, heritage and environmental impacts are avoided, remedied or mitigated.
Geotechnical investigations involve drilling boreholes and digging pits at individual sites within the future construction area. The tests look at ground conditions, including soil and rock types, groundwater depths, and the strength of soil and rock.
“People can expect to see drilling rigs, trucks, and excavators between Te Puna and Ōmokoroa over the next few months. The information gathered from these investigations is important to help us design and plan how to build the new road.”
“This work is a positive step for the project team as we work to deliver safer connections and outcomes for the wider community.”
Tests will be completed during March and April 2021 and will take place at several sites between Te Puna and Ōmokoroa.
Stage Two of the Takitimu North Link project is currently proceeding through the consent process, and Waka Kotahi is working closely with landowners and stakeholders.
“The resource consent process is a big milestone for this project, and we will be very keen to hear what people think of our plans for this significant transport link that will support the rapid growth of our region. The public will be invited to have their say on plans later this year when applications open for submissions,” Ms Wilton says.
The Takitimu North Link project is a new 14km four-lane expressway connecting Tauranga and Ōmokoroa, with a shared path for walking and cycling. It will be constructed in two phases.
Stage One is a 6.8km four-lane expressway between Tauranga and Te Puna. Stage Two extends the expressway a further 7km between Te Puna and Ōmokoroa.
The geotechnical work is arranged and supervised by CMW Geosciences on behalf of Waka Kotahi. Testing will only be undertaken where Waka Kotahi has reached agreement with the landowners for access.
Waka Kotahi is delivering 20 major projects for the NZ Upgrade Programme that support a shift to greater transport choice with a balanced investment in public transport, new or upgraded roads, walking and cycling.
The programme is already supporting jobs and the economy, with about 700 people developing projects and getting them ready for construction. The number of jobs will grow as more contracts are awarded to complete project designs, finalise construction plans and get workers on site to start construction.
Significant progress has been made on the NZ Upgrade Programme since it was established, with several construction projects, including Papakura to Drury South, starting construction this year. We’ve engaged with communities for their input to further develop designs and preferred routes as well as getting projects ready for construction.
The programme will play a vital role in helping to stimulate the economy and support the country as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.
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