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Work underway to improve resilience on SH2 at Raupunga and Tahaenui Bridge

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Work is now underway to strengthen the resilience of State Highway 2 at Raupunga and Tahaenui Bridge, as part of a wider programme which aims to improve resilience and safety on the state highway network in the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions.

A blessing was held at the construction site at Tahaenui Bridge on Saturday, led by Mautai Marae, Ngāti Kahungunu to mark the beginning of the work, which is expected to be completed by early June 2021.

The project will cost $1.7 million and is funded through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme and Regional Investment Opportunity programme. It forms part of the $137 million Connecting Tairāwhiti Programme.

Senior Project Manager Rob Partridge says the project will widen the current single lane bridge to two lanes. This is the last one-way bridge on SH2 between Napier and Gisborne. Widening the bridge will improve safety and resilience on this part of the network.

Work at Raupaunga started two weeks ago to protect the Raupunga township from erosion from the Mohaka River. 

“State Highway 2 is a critical route connecting Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, and the townships in between. We need to ensure it is strong and stable and can withstand challenging weather events, which are common in the environment that it travels through.

“Waka Kotahi has been working closely with the Raupunga and Tahaenui communities on these projects. The Raupunga project will move 600 metres of the road west so that it is further away from the Mohaka River.”

Alongside the Tahaenui Bridge widening and the State Highway 2 Raupunga resilience project, there are further resilience improvements that are being made at over 20 sites on State Highway 35. In addition, 25 new passing opportunities and 10 slow vehicle bays are being installed on both State Highway 35 and State Highway 2 between Napier and Ōpōtiki, to be completed over the next two years.

Eight of those sites are being worked on during this summer construction season.

While the work is underway at the State Highway 2 Raupunga site, stop/go traffic management is in place to ensure the safety of crews and road users. On Tahaenui Bridge there will be a mix of automated traffic lights and Stop/Goes. During the night the bridge will operate as a single lane. Motorists are urged to take care when travelling through the site and adhere to temporary speed restrictions.

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