Dual lane capacity at Loop Road on the horizon: Stage 2 construction set to begin


Northlanders can expect to see more activity beside the Loop Road roundabout in the coming weeks as Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency begins preparations for construction of Stage 2 of the Loop Road Safety Improvements project.

Waka Kotahi has awarded the construction contract to Oxcon CLL who will, from early March, begin construction of a southbound taper lane and southbound bridge over the Otaika Stream to accommodate a safe merging distance from the newly completed dual lane roundabout.

Stephen Collett, Regional Manager Transport Services Waka Kotahi says that almost 20,000 locals and visitors travel through this part of State Highway 1 everyday, proving itself as an important gateway into Northland.

“It’s also an area with a high volume of freight and commuters at peak hours so building the southbound taper lane and bridge will ensure the roundabout can safely operate dual lanes and greatly improve safety and traffic flow” says Mr Colle

Waka Kotahi anticipates there will be minimal disruption to state highway traffic as most of the work will be completed beside the road, off the state highway.

“We acknowledge there were numerous delays throughout the first stage of the project, which did cause an inconvenience for residents and people travelling through the area.

“During this next stage, it will only be the taper lane ‘tie-ins’ at the roundabout and south of Otaika Stream that will need traffic management, and these won’t be built until later in construction” says Stephen Collett.

The new bridge will be constructed to the east of the existing bridge and built to new design standards that take climate change and sea level rise into consideration. This means it will be approximately 1.8 metres higher than the existing bridge on SH1, which will be retained for northbound traffic.

The first three months of construction will see the worksite set up, environmental and sediment controls in place along with drainage and a temporary alignment for the Oaks Road entrance south of the Otaika Stream will be constructed.

It will also include work to strengthen the ground where the road will be constructed, which can take up to six months.

This process, called ‘preloading’, works by slowly compressing the ground surface to create a stronger foundation for holding the road and vehicles. This process can take up to six-months.

Completion for the Loop Road Safety Improvements project is planned for late-2024.