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Investigation works for SH3 Mt Messenger Bypass project continue next week

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Investigations for the Mt Messenger Bypass continue, with a settlement load test getting underway next week at the foot of Mt Messenger’s southern side, near State Highway 3.

This investigation will help inform the final project design.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Emma Speight says the testing is essential to help complete the bypass design, particularly for the earthworks, embankments and retaining walls.

“We need to work out how much weight the embankment foundations will bear, and how long they will take to compress and remove water and stabilise the ground, before we build the road,” says Ms Speight.

“Figuring out the strength of materials being used is also very important. It lets us know how steep and high the embankments can be constructed.”

The circular embankment, which is approximately 25 metres in diameter and 6 metres high, will be constructed during May and June. It will remain there for 3-6 months and be removed after the trial.

The Mt Messenger Bypass is integral in connecting Taranaki’s people, communities and businesses with the rest of the country, growing the economy, and shaping the development of the region’s towns and cities.

The project is broader than building the new road, with a comprehensive environmental restoration package designed to balance the effects of construction and ensure in the long-term that the project area is in a better condition than its current state.

Investigations continue while the project’s consent process remains underway. A final Environment Court decision (issued on 1 April 2021) has granted the project’s consents and the altered designation confirmed, however this has been appealed and a High Court hearing is currently scheduled for October 2021.

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