Work to upgrade the Maraenui Hill detour on State Highway 35 will get underway next week, the NZ Transport Agency announced today.
The upgrade to the 1.1km route 30 kilometres east of Opotiki will involve removing 90,000 cubic metres of earth from the site to provide space for road widening, sealing of the surface, adding safety barriers and drainage channels to bring the stretch of road up to highway standard.
NZTA’s Bay of Plenty State Highway Manager Rod James said work would likely begin on site next Monday (7 March), following the award of a contract to Fulton Hogan.
Mr James said the earth removed from the site would be spread along Maraenui Beach, five kilometres from the project site. The earth will be used to form a bund to help protect the nearby Maraenui Marae from inundation by the sea.
Te Whanau a Hikarukutai Hapu spokesperson John Crooks said the earth removed will be placed in Maraenui to further their coastal enhancement programme and to stockpile for future use. Topsoiling, hydro seeding, and Rakau planting will follow, benefiting all users of the beach.
Mr James said the project would provide a permanent fix for the highway following a major slip last August.
“Everyone involved is now looking forward to getting on with the job and reinstating this vital link for East coast residents and businesses,” said Mr James.
Work is expected to be completed by September.