Motorists will see a key milestone on the Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) project take place this week, as piling starts for the two Domain Road interchange bridges. The NZ Transport Agency says the Domain Road interchange is one of the most complex structures to build on the TEL project.
Before piling could commence, ground conditions had to be improved and pre-load material (sand) was placed over nine months ago near the Domain Road intersection. Sections of the pre-load material has been removed over the last few weeks and reused in other parts of the project. The remaining pre-load material in this area will be removed at a later date to allow further settlement to occur.
NZTA’s Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Brett Gliddon, says now that some of the pre-load material has been removed, the next phase of construction for the Domain Road interchange bridges is piling, which will be undertaken in two stages.
'In total, 50 piles will be driven to depths of between 42 and 50 metres - 36 piles for one bridge and 14 for the second. It is anticipated that the first stage of the piling will continue through until the end of the year, and the second stage completed in 2013.'
The hours of operation for the piling will be from 7.30am to 6.00pm, Monday to Saturday. Nearby residents may experience some noise disturbance during this time.
A piling rig was moved to Domain Road late last week where it was previously used at the southern end of the project for the piling on the rail bridge at Maketu.
Piling at the Kaituna River Bridge continues on the eastern (Maketu) side of the river, with piling on the western (Papamoa East) side now completed.
Keep up-to-date with developments at www.nzta.govt.nz/tel.
The four-lane Tauranga Eastern Link will run from Te Maunga (near Baypark Stadium) in Tauranga to the existing junction of State Highways 2 and 33 (the Rotorua and Whakatane highways) near Paengaroa. It will be made up of 17km of new road and an upgrade of six kilometres of existing highway. The new highway is expected to open to traffic in 2016.
The Government has identified seven essential state highway projects linked to New Zealand’s economic prosperity. Called the roads of national significance, or RoNS for short, the NZTA is charged with delivering this programme of state highway improvements within the next 10 years. The RoNS programme represents one of New Zealand’s biggest ever infrastructure investments and is a key part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan and Government’s Policy Statement for transport.
The seven RoNS projects are based around New Zealand's five largest population centres. The focus is on moving people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently. Other RoNS may be added in future but currently from north to south the seven projects are:
More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons.