The project to realign a section of State Highway 33, between Paengaroa and Rotorua, is now more visible to motorists as the work has continued over winter.
The focus of the Sun Valley Curves project, near Pareteiro, is to remove a series of tight curves and improve the safety.
The NZ Transport Agency Highways manager Brett Gliddon says that as the project progresses it is having more of an impact on motorists. Drivers are to expect minor delays with temporary speeds and traffic management in place, especially over the unsealed sections of the existing highway, where a new road surface is being built.
“The Transport Agency is removing the common cause of crashes in this area which has resulted in drivers losing control and coming off the road or crossing the centre line. Once finished, the road will be a more direct and safer for drivers.”
Construction is being carried out on two separate sites, at the northern end (Paengaroa side) and on the southern end (Rotorua side). Work at the northern end requires building a large mechanically stabilised earth wall (known as a MSE wall), which is taking shape and will support the new road alignment.
Pareteiro Hill is being removed on the southern side and considerable earthworks are being undertaken to fill in the valley where the new road will be constructed. A passing lane will also be added for south bound traffic (towards Rotorua) which will allow drivers to overtake safely.
The project is estimated to cost $3.6 million, with Rotorua District Council overseeing the works as the Transport Agency’s project partner.
The work started early November 2012 and progress has been steady, especially with a mild winter. Completion is planned for Autumn 2014.
To keep up with the progress of this project a newsletter will be available via email, you can subscribe to it by emailing email@example.com.
Alternatively, you can visit the NZTA’s website which is regularly updated with information about most closures and detours at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic>. This information is also available by phoning the NZTA’s free phone on 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49), which can also be used to report any significant road issues or hazards which people may come across during their travels.
The NZTA also uses other technology to provide information to enable drivers to make better informed choices about their travel. On The Move is a free service which enables people to sign up for information about crashes, road works and driving conditions on their frequently used routes - to sign up, go to www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link)