Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is improving the resilience of State Highway 2 from Gisborne to Waioeka Gorge as part of the Government’s initial fund for cyclone-related emergency repairs and road works.
Alongside the foamed bitumen stablisation works already underway, an asphalting programme to further strengthen and protect the highway for the future is scheduled to begin from Monday 19 June. The work is expected to be complete by the end of September. Road users will see stop/go traffic controls in place from Monday 12 June as preparation gets underway.
The asphalting works will be carried out at night between 7pm and 5am, seven days a week. The work will be done at night to minimise disruption and to keep Tairāwhiti moving during the day.
“SH2 between Gisborne and Waioeka Gorge suffered extensive damage during Cyclone Gabrielle. It also saw traffic volumes increase due to the closure of SH2 between Wairoa and Napier,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager of Maintenance and Operations, Jaclyn Hankin.
During the project, more than 11 kilometres of SH2 will be resurfaced with more than 20,000 tonnes of asphalt.
The work will start at the northern-most site, near the entrance to the Waioeka Gorge, with full closures in place. Our crews will then move south towards Makaraka. This section is expected to take 3-4 weeks to complete, before contractors move further towards Gisborne.
“While some work can be completed during the day under stop/go traffic controls, a number of the sites will require overnight closures to ensure the safety of both road users and our contractors.
“This work is weather dependent, which means SH2 will stay open to traffic at night during wet weather. We strongly recommend people use our Journey Planner website to check the status of the road if they plan to travel between Gisborne and the Waioeka Gorge at night once the work gets underway next month,” says Ms Hankin.
“SH2 is a crucial lifeline for Tairāwhiti. Cyclone Gabrielle reinforced the importance of this key part of the network for connections north to Ōpōtiki and beyond, for both freight and the communities that live in this area,” says Ms Hankin.
“We know the past few months have been trying for our local communities and we realise disruptions to the network, even at night, are frustrating. Once these works are complete, we expect a stronger, more resilient, more future proofed section of SH2.”
Waka Kotahi appreciates everyone’s patience as we work to finish this programme as quickly as we can to future-proof access, safety and reliability on this key route for Tairāwhiti.