The NZ Transport Agency has announced work will continue through winter on the State Highway 2 Te Puna roundabout project.
While the project was originally scheduled to be finished by July 2017, completion has been delayed by unprecedented rainfall in March and April, severe weather events like Cyclone Debbie and challenges with the relocation of power and telecommunications cables.
The Transport Agency’s Director Regional Relationships, Parekawhia McLean, said the construction season generally ends in May and starts again in September, but the decision has been made to work through the winter to get the project finished as quickly as possible.
“We understand the considerable frustration and inconvenience these works have caused to the community and businesses and we have determined that if we use a different construction method for the pavement we can continue the work in cold and wet conditions to get the job done as soon as possible.”
Ms McLean said the opportunity to work overnight is also being reassessed.
“We’ll continue to work hard to minimise disruption, but due to the nature of this work and the high daily traffic volumes (20,000 vehicles each day), some delays are inevitable over the next few months, and we’re urging people to factor in additional travel time for their journeys,” Ms McLean said.
It is now expected the work on the state highway will be complete in August.
Ms McLean said carrying out work during the wet winter months meant there was a possibility that re-sealing will be needed after the project is complete, but the alternative is to wait until mid-September to re-start works on the state highway, which would put the completion date into December.
The work that remains is the construction of the roundabout, the sealing of all sections of the road, raising the level of some lanes, completion of local roads tie ins to the roundabout and lighting and landscaping.
The two-lane roundabout will replace the Te Puna / Minden Road intersection, significantly improving safety for motorists travelling on the route.
The roundabout is part of an overall plan to reduce death and serious injury crashes on State Highway 2 between Waihi and Tauranga.
A construction crew will be carrying out sealing over the rebuilt section of State Highway 2 at Te Puna at the northern end of the project next week. The NZ Transport Agency says this work doesn’t create as much noise as excavation so it can take place at night between 8pm and 6am. Road users will see stop / go traffic management in place and are being asked to adhere to a 30km/h temporary speed limit. Current consent conditions don’t allow excavation or noisy work to occur at night on the Te Puna project but this is currently being reassessed.