Three bridges to be strengthened along SH29 for HPMV access


The NZ Transport Agency says work on three bridges along State Highway 29 (SH29) between the lower Kaimais and Tauranga will allow High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMV) to carry greater volumes of freight mass along this section of road.

NZ Transport Agency Highways Manager, Brett Gliddon says the bridge strengthening works form part of a national programme by the Transport Agency aimed at opening up more key HPMV routes between Auckland, Waikato, and Tauranga. 

“Because HPMVs carry more freight per trip, they reduce the number of trips needed to improve productivity and cope with increasing freight volumes,” says Mr Gliddon.

The reduction in travel offers significant commercial advantages  – including lower vehicle operating costs, driver hours and fuel – as well as safety benefits from the reduced crash risk that fewer truck trips provide.

“With the potential for productivity gains, industry will invest in newer, safer truck combinations to operate on New Zealand’s state highways and roads. These newer trucks tend to be quieter and cleaner than the vehicles they replace, while the fuel savings mean reduced carbon emissions for each tonne of freight moved,” he says.

The Transport Agency is improving freight efficiency by increasing network access for HPMVs, which are able to carry greater loads than conventional trucks. This will allow more freight to be moved in fewer trips, and unlock the benefits from industry investment in these newer, more efficient trucks. 

The first of the works will start near Soldiers Road at the Te Ahara Stream Bridge on Thursday 30 January. Motorists travelling along State highway 29 (SH29), are advised to expect delays as there will be a single lane closure with a manual stop/go traffic management operation in place from 7.00am until 6.00pm.

Further lane closures will be required from time to time as the works progress onto the other SH29 bridges at Kopurererua, and Kaukumoutiti over the next four months. 

The Transport Agency would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience motorists may experience while this important work is being undertaken.  If you want to find out more about this road works or the about others please go to the Transport Agency’s website at link) or free phone 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

Editors Notes:

To ensure that New Zealand’s road freight is able to be moved efficiently, the Government is promoting the uptake of high productivity motor vehicles (HPMVs). Around 70% (tonnes-kilometres) of New Zealand’s freight is moved by road.

The amended Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass came into effect on 1st May 2010 and created a special category of vehicle - High Productivity Motor Vehicles for loads exceeding 44 tonnes, or vehicles exceeding the current maximum dimension limits, or both.  The Rule allows these vehicles to operate under permit, enabling a specific vehicle to use a specific route, or routes (depending on the suitability of the vehicle and the route).

HPMVs are longer and/or heavier trucks which will achieve greater freight efficiency; enabling a 14 to 20 percent decrease in truck trips respectively. HPMVs also provide safety benefits, as fewer trips reduce the exposure of vehicles to crash risk. Other countries, notably Australia, are also looking at longer and/or heavier trucks to boost economic performance and manage the growth in freight volumes.

To accelerate the uptake of HPMVs, the Government, through the National Land Transport Fund, is investing around $45 million to deliver a strategic nationwide network of 4500 kilometres of HPMV-suitable road by 2015. This will allow more freight to be moved with fewer trips, and unlock the benefits from industry investing in newer, more efficient trucks. 

In 2013, around 4150 HPMV permits have been issued by the Transport Agency.

The Transport Agency is working with local government and road transport industry representatives in each region to identify and plan the introduction of HPMVs on key end-to-end routes.   We have analysed the regional industry demand, the commodities being transported, the composition of the vehicle fleet and the most common routes between pickup and delivery.  The routes include local road access to and from depots.

To find out more about which bridges are earmarked for improvement, visit the Transport Agency website(external link)