Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is set resume work on projects to improve safety on State Highway 2 in Hawke’s Bay as New Zealand moves to Covid-19 Alert Level 3.
“We have been working closely with our contractors and with Construction Health and Safety NZ to plan for a safe return to work following the end of the Level 4 lockdown period,” Senior Project Manager Rob Partridge says.
“We will be implementing a range of new measures to ensure the health and safety of our workers and road users, including restricted access to sites, requirements for workers to maintain physical distancing, and the use of additional protective clothing.”
In Hawke’s Bay, projects that will be resuming under these strict new measures include:
“With regard to the Pakipaki to Waipukurau safety improvement works, the initial focus will be on completing construction of the timber retaining wall and the wire rope barriers between Waipāwa and Waipukurau,” Mr Partridge says.
“The slow vehicle bay is nearly complete and now only requires sweeping and road markings. When the retaining wall, slow vehicle bay, road marking and rumble strips between Waipukurau and Waipāwa are complete, we will then finish barrier installation in the designated areas between Waipāwa and Pakipaki.”
There will be changes to the two Tapairu Road/State Highway 2 intersections once the barriers have been installed. There will be no right turn in or out of the northern end intersection (closest to Waipawa). At the southern end there will be a slip lane to turn left into Tapairu Road, and a wide shoulder to allow traffic turning out time to accelerate. At this intersection traffic will also be able to make a right turn in and out of Tapairu Road.
“In addition to work that will be resuming under Level 3, we will also be starting work on the second coat seal on the section of State Highway 2 between Bay View and Hawke’s Bay Airport,” Mr Partridge says.
“This work(external link) was scheduled to be completed the week that New Zealand went into the Level 4 lockdown period. It is expected to take a week to complete.
“While the work is underway, in the evening and overnight the site will be under traffic management and a temporary speed restriction of 30km/h will be in place across the new seal, which will help bed in the new seal.”
The transition back to on-site work will be different for every project, and the timing will depend on the nature and complexity of work sites.
Some essential state highway maintenance work(external link) continued throughout the Level 4 lockdown and this work will continue. Waka Kotahi will begin non-essential maintenance work under Level 3 so Hawke’s Bay road users should expect to see more worksites up and running across the region.
While travel will still be restricted during Alert Level 3, with more workers carrying out maintenance work, Mr Partridge urged anyone driving through worksites to be patient, cautious and comply with all temporary speed limits to keep workers safe.
“These people are stepping outside of their bubbles to do vital work to keep all of us safe. Please be careful, be kind and give them a friendly wave.”
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