The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) says work will start on today (18 October) on the second stage of a major upgrade of the surface of State Highway 67 through Westport's main street.
A contract for the work has been let to Coastal Construction for the work. The Southern section will be completed first, followed by the intersection at the northern end of the project, with the contractors then working back to the southern section where they initially started. The first stage of the project covering three blocks of the southern section of Palmerston Street was completed in May this year.
NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) Project Manager Mark Pinner says the contract worth a total cost of just over $420,000 involves replacing a significant amount of road pavement on a 400 metre section of Palmerston Street between Rintoul and Brougham Streets. The current aging highway surface has reached a stage where it needs to be dug out and replaced.
“The NZTA is aware of the impacts of this project on businesses and is doing its best to minimise these. If the work was delayed until after Christmas, it would have clashed with the busier summer tourist period and events such as the Buller Marathon. We learned from the resurfacing of State Highway 67 from Bentham to Rintoul Streets earlier this year that a post Christmas start, would run the risk of this job continuing into the colder autumn months”.
Mr Pinner says every effort is being made to complete the project as quickly as possible with the option of the contractor working 7 days a week between 6.00am and 7.00pm if required. Drainage improvements and underground services alterations have already been completed.
To minimise traffic disruption and the loss of parking each section of the project will be completely finished, before a start is made on the next one. For safety reasons, there will be no off-street parking within construction areas. Alternative parking will be offered on side streets that are unaffected by the work. Construction zones will be closed to through traffic as needed with marked detours provided.