The need to swiftly remove a tree next to the road means Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency needs to close a section of State Highway 2 for two days early next month.
The closure, between the SH2/Te Puna Road/Minden Road roundabout and SH2/Te Puna Station Road intersection, will be in place between 5am and 4pm, on both Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October.
The ‘root’ cause of the issue lies with a separate tree that fell previously, disturbing the embankment and putting this tree at risk, explains Roger Brady, Bay of Plenty System Manager at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
“Specialist arborists have been monitoring the tree recently and have concluded that it needs to be removed before it poses an immediate hazard to the road and the travelling public.
“We are closing the road to ensure the safety of road users and our crews during the removal operation. If the process takes less time than expected the closure period will be ‘truncated’.
“We acknowledge that the timing is not tre(e)mendous, given this weekend is the start of the school holidays. With daylight savings the weekend before, we expect that a significant number of people are keen to head away to enjoy the extra daylight hours, which hopefully coincides with some sunny weather. We ask that you either travel on Friday or consider your travel time on the weekend to reduce the potential for ‘logjams’ on the busy Waihī to Tauranga corridor.
The detour for all southbound vehicles, including heavy vehicles, is via Te Puna Road and Te Puna Station Road, and the northbound route is the same, in reverse order. Under normal circumstances this will add less than five minutes to travel time.
If the weather conditions are not suitable (high winds mean we won’t be able to do this work safely) then the work will need to be postponed to the following weekend.