Motorists travelling on State Highway 2 between Kairua Road and Domain Road are advised lane diversions and temporary speed restrictions will be in place whilst emergency repairs are carried out on the road surface.
As part of the NZ Transport Agency's (NZTA) Tauranga Eastern Link project, pre-load material (sand) is being laid adjacent to the highway to compact the ground beneath, to provide a firm base on which the new road will be constructed.
NZTA's Bay of Plenty State Highway Manager, Brett Gliddon, says that the weight of the pre-load and the associated settlement is causing cracks along this section of the highway.
"Following Tuesday's heavy rainfall large ruts have appeared in the road which requires emergency repairs to be undertaken. It is anticipated that some cracking to sections of this road surface may continue to occur until the surcharge is removed in approximately 12 months' time."
The northbound and southbound lanes will be moved across to one side and a 50km/h speed restriction will be in place, together with a manual stop/go as required. It is expected these works will be completed by Sunday 8 July.
Motorists are advised to take extra care while driving through this area and can be expect delays during peak travel times.
The NZTA thanks motorists for their continued patience and assistance while this work is being undertaken.
Keep up-to-date with developments at www.nzta.govt.nz/tel(external link).
The four-lane Tauranga Eastern Link will run from Te Maunga (near Baypark Stadium) in Tauranga to the existing junction of State Highways 2 and 33 (the Rotorua and Whakatane highways) near Paengaroa. It will be made up of 17km of new road and an upgrade of six kilometres of existing highway. The new highway is expected to open to traffic in 2016.
The Government has identified seven essential state highway projects linked to New Zealand's economic prosperity. Called the roads of national significance, or RoNS for short, the NZTA is charged with delivering this programme of state highway improvements within the next 10 years. The RoNS programme represents one of New Zealand's biggest ever infrastructure investments and is a key part of the Government's National Infrastructure Plan and Government's Policy Statement for transport.
The seven RoNS projects are based around New Zealand's five largest population centres. The focus is on moving people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently. Other RoNS may be added in future but currently from north to south the seven projects are: