Geotechnical testing will get underway next week as part of the NZ Transport Agency's (NZTA) investigation into options for the Rotorua Eastern Arterial route.
The testing will involve drilling boreholes and digging pits. Soil samples will be collected and tested for a range of properties including soil strength.
Rod James, the NZTA’s State Highway Manager says determining local ground conditions is an important part of evaluating the type of roads and structures that would be required if a particular location was chosen as the preferred route.
“People can expect to see drilling rigs, trucks, and excavators along the three potential option sites (Te Ngae Road, Vaughan Road and the existing designation) over the next few months. Testing will only be undertaken where the NZTA has reached agreement with the land owner(s) for access,” says Mr James.
The Rotorua Eastern Arterial is a project looking into options for the future of State Highway 30/ Te Ngae Road. Currently 37,500 vehicles per day travel along this road which doubles as a vital inter-regional freight route and a local road. This is predicted to increase to 50,000 vpd within seven years, impacting on safety and congestion.
Three options are under investigation. They include upgrading the existing highway (Te Ngae Road), developing a new highway along the designated route closer to Lake Rotorua with two new intersections at Sala Street and the proposed Victoria Street Arterial, or using most of the designated route but upgrading Vaughan Road at the western end instead of continuing the highway over the sulphur flats.