Plans are in place to complete two significant pieces of work on key routes into Tauranga next month, before cooler winter temperatures kick in.
The bridge over the Omanawa River on State Highway 29, just south of Tauriko, is scheduled for strengthening later this month and into May. This work will ensure SH29 continues to support heavy vehicle movements on what is a key freight route.
Enabling works commenced earlier this week, ahead of the bridge strengthening taking place after ANZAC weekend. Due to the sensitive nature of the work all over-weight and over-dimension permits will be suspended from travel over the bridge between 26 April and 24 May. During this time, all vehicles requiring either of these permits travelling to and from Tauranga will have to use SH2 via Waihī to the north or travel via Rotorua to the south (SH5-30A-30-33 and SH2).
The bridge will remain open to all other vehicles, including HPMV and 50Max trucks, however a temporary 30kmh speed limit, supported with safe-hit posts over the bridge, will be in place to keep vibrations down to ensure the strengthening process is not compromised.
Early May will also see resurfacing work take place on State Highway 2, between the Wairoa River Bridge and the western entrance to Taniwha Place in Bethlehem. Crews will be on site for five nights from Sunday 8 May, between the hours of 8pm and 5am.
Resurfacing on the section leading up to the bridge will take place on the night of Thursday 12 May, and between the hours of 8pm and 12am midnight SH2 will be closed at the Wairoa River Bridge, as it is too narrow to safely maintain a traffic lane past the worksite. All other works will be undertaken with stop/go traffic management.
During the closure period a detour route is available via Wairoa Road, Crawford Road, Poripori Road and SH29 for all traffic except over-weight, over-dimension vehicles and HPMV’s due to the suspension of over-weight and over-dimension permits over the SH29 Omanawa River Bridge at the same time, and because the Poripori Road detour route is not available to HPMV’s. All over-dimension, over-weight and HPMV vehicles will be safely stacked either side of the bridge until it reopens.
While these works may be disruptive to some, it is important to complete these works as part of the current maintenance season, says Roger Brady, Bay of Plenty System Manager, Maintenance and Operations.
“We engaged extensively with the Heavy Haulage Industry around how we could complete this important work as efficiently as possible, whilst keeping any necessary closure impacts to a minimum.
Completing these works now ensures that the network remains resilient for the foreseeable future, and continues the significant work programme we have undertaken this season, which included the substantial resurfacing and drainage works on Takitimu Drive and major resealing on SH36.
Tauranga and the wider Western Bay of Plenty region currently has a high level of investment, with projects such as Waihī to Ōmokoroa, Bay Link, Takitimu North Link and Cameron Road all at different stages. We are also focused on ensuring the network remains at a high quality for road users, and 2022/23 will see us investing $25 million into state highway maintenance throughout the Western Bay and Tauranga.”
Waka Kotahi thanks road users for their patience while this work is carried out.