Work is progressing at a pace that will enable it to be completed in 2013. Progress visible to the community includes:
Occupation of the new site construction office
Building of a trial embankment
Fencing of land for the expressway
Surveying and testing of road surfaces and underground services.
The main site office for construction of the Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway is now occupied by the Te Rapa Alliance project team. The site office entrance is off Ormsby Lane, this will soon change to a new access from Tasman Road.
A trial embankment is being built to test for settlement times. The location of the embankment is on the east side of the main rail line (between Onion Road and Bern Road). Ground improvement and testing equipment will be installed, and then a large soil embankment will be constructed. The embankment will be monitored for settlement over the next six months.
Fencing of land that has been purchased for the Expressway has started and will be completed over the coming months.
Surveying and testing
Surveying will take place between now and October for finalisation of design and fencing locations. Avalon Drive will be subject to testing and investigation, to confirm both surface conditions and the exact positions of existing services, so design for new services can be completed.
Avalon Drive works
Clearance of trees and vegetation on Avalon Drive (between Crawford Street and Gilchrist Street) is scheduled to commence in September, although the precise timing will be dependant on consents, and winter works approvals from Environment Waikato. Current plans under discussion would see in excess of 200,000 new plantings carried out as part of the Te Rapa section work, including around 1000 new trees.
From there, the new west side lanes will commence construction. Avalon Drive four-laning will take approximately twelve months to complete.