Northland road users will enjoy safer, straighter and easier journeys on SH10 at Bulls Gorge, Kerikeri, with the NZ Transport Agency set to begin construction on a major upgrade to the highway tomorrow.
The $7.5m realignment north of Puketona Road (SH11) and 2km south of the Kerikeri Road intersection will increase safety in the area and improve options for freight, tourism and local traffic.
The NZ Transport Agency will celebrate the start of construction on the two-year project at an event this Friday (17 September), along with local iwi Ngati Rehia and Ngapuhi and guests ncluding Mayor Wayne Brown, project partners, neighbours and the local business community.
NZTA Regional Director Wayne McDonald explains the benefits of the project: "Some 1.7km of winding road with sharp corners and steep gradients will be realigned to improve safety and travel times. Two right turn bays and a heavy vehicle pull-over area on the northbound uphill section will be created. Widened, sealed shoulders will create more distance between cyclists and vehicles providing a more comfortable drive for all road users."
SH10 is a popular tourist route and is well used by industry across the region as a strategic link between Auckland and the Far North and east coast regions.
Construction will be carefully managed to minimise disruption. A temporary sealed road will be created to ensure the route stays open throughout the upgrade. Services, including power and fibre optic cable, will be protected and relocated as required.
The NZTA and its project consultants, Northern Civil, and contractor Transfield Services, have worked closely with DOC on a range of measures to tread lightly during construction. As a result, land has been exchanged between road and scenic reserves, resulting in no net loss to the scenic reserve. Plans have also been put in place to re-vegetate and landscape the completed road with native trees cultivated at local nurseries.
Electronic monitoring is being carried out to ensure North Island Brown Kiwis living in the area remain safe during construction with special working practices designed around the native bird's protection. In addition, a new 100m fish-friendly culvert is being planned to create hospitable conditions and free passage for native fresh water fish.
Up to 190,000m3 of earthworks are required to level the road, with cuts and fills of up to 20m deep needed to create the new alignment.