Northbound vehicles will continue to detour through Waitara for a further three to four months to enable the second stage of stormwater works for the Princess Street roundabout to be completed.
Trucks travelling north will continue to use the state highway under stop/go traffic management to avoid safety issues associated with large vehicles travelling through Waitara.
The infrastructure being installed will carry stormwater runoff from the roundabout that will be built at the intersection of Princess Street and State Highway 3 this summer and address current flooding issues around Rahiri and Princess streets.
Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Rob Partridge says work - which began in January - to install both the 760m stormwater pipe and a New Plymouth District Council watermain between Manukorihi soccer fields and Princess Street is almost complete.
“The current traffic management will remain in place until September or October, while crews install additional pipe to the recently confirmed discharge location on the border of the Manukorihi soccer fields, adjacent to SH3.
“Getting this work completed now will mean fewer disruptions to traffic in the future,” Mr Partridge says.
A stormwater treatment swale will be constructed on the eastern border of the soccer fields at a later date. This swale will capture and treat stormwater runoff from the new roundabout before it is safely discharged into the Waitara Awa (River).
Mr Partridge acknowledges some motorists experienced long delays when travelling through the area recently and apologises for the disruption this caused.
“Earlier in the month we trialled some changes to traffic management on the highway, including reintroducing traffic lights to the route, in an effort to improve safety for the local community.
“This resulted in longer than expected delays, so we now have manual Stop/Go in place at the Princess Street/SH3 intersection and on the southern end of the worksite.
“The manual stop/go allows us to manage traffic flows and will remain in place for the foreseeable future,” says Mr Partridge.
People travelling north, other than those driving trucks, are reminded to take the detour route.
“We have had quite a few cars trying to head north on SH3, which doesn’t save time and causes additional delays for freight and people heading south. It also creates issues for our traffic management staff.
“The detour only adds six minutes, at most, to a journey north, which is about the same as taking the highway with the current traffic management in place,” says Mr Partridge.
“To help keep the Waitara community safe, we’ve put in a number of safety measures on the detour route including temporary speed limits, flexible road bollards and pedestrian crossings. Our crews are closely monitoring how the detour is operating and will continue to make improvements to tra¬ffic management, if necessary.”
During the works, the detour route is being managed by Waka Kotahi. To provide feedback, ask questions or report any issues about the detour route or the state highway please get in touch using the contact details below.
Work to build a trial embankment on New Plymouth District Council-owned property on the corner of Airport Drive and SH3 will start later this week. This involves placing rock material onto the site to test how the ground responds to weight. This work will inform the design of the De Havilland Drive roundabout.
The trial embankment will take approximately four weeks to construct with crews onsite between 7am and 6pm most weekdays. There will be signs and traffic cones in place near the Airport Drive accessway to ensure the safety of all road users.
These works are part of the wider Te Ara Tūtohu: SH3 Waitara to Bell Block safety improvement project that aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the busy section of highway.
Waka Kotahi thanks road users and local residents for their patience while we undertake these important works to improve the safety of SH3 between Waitara and Bell Block.