Work on traffic islands and asphalting of SH3, Waitara to begin early


The State Highway 3 / Princess Street roundabout is the first of four roundabouts being built as part of the Te Ara Tūtohu: Waitara to Bell Block safety improvements project, which also includes median barrier and other safety improvements that will help reduce deaths and serious injuries on the busy section of highway north of New Plymouth.

Work is progressing well on the construction of the roundabout and pedestrian underpass, with work scheduled to be complete mid next year.

Crews onsite have uncovered a higher than expected ground water table and are pumping excess water out to enable the works to continue.

Work to asphalt part of the road and install the traffic islands has now been brought forward to keep the programme on schedule for a mid-2024 finish.

To enable this work to happen, the length of the worksite will be extended slightly and SH3 through the Princess Street intersection will be reduced to one lane from 6pm next Sunday (3 September). This date could be subject to charge as traffic management is confirmed.

The southbound lane of Princess Street East through to Rahiri Street will remain closed.  

In mid-October, the southbound lane of Princess Street East will be asphalted before opening to traffic. Following this, the northbound lane will close.

Stop/Go traffic management will continue to be in place around the clock at the intersection, with temporary traffic lights controlling the flow of traffic through the intersection.

The 30km/h temporary speed limit will continue to be in place. Road users should allow for delays of up to 15 minutes. Safe crossing opportunities will also continue to be provided for pedestrians and cyclists crossing SH3 from Princess Street.

The traffic management at Princess Street will change in November 2023 to enable construction of the northbound lane and Princess Street West. More information about this will be provided closer to the time.

“These improvements are really important to help reduce crashes and the severity of those crashes through this busy stretch of state highway. We are just as keen as the local community to get the roundabout and underpass finished and open as soon as possible to increase safety on the road,” says Waka Kotahi Regional Manager for Infrastructure Delivery, Rob Partridge.

“We want to thank everyone for their patience during this disruptive time.”

Te Ara Tūtohu: Waitara to Bell Block project page