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NZTA appoints contractor to build Tauranga Eastern Link and announces early construction start

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has appointed the contracting team to design and build the Tauranga Eastern Link and announced that construction of the road of national significance is to begin later this month - more than six months earlier than anticipated.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has appointed the contracting team to design and build the Tauranga Eastern Link and announced that construction of the road of national significance is to begin later this month — more than six months earlier than anticipated.

The appointment of a consortium led by Fulton Hogan and including HEB Construction, Opus International Consultants, URS Corporation New Zealand, Peters and Cheung, and Bartley Consultants marks a major milestone in the development of the Bay of Plenty's largest roading project and a key strategic transport corridor for the region.

Harry Wilson, the NZTA's Bay of Plenty Regional Director says the consortium was selected after a rigorous three month evaluation. Mr Wilson said the Fulton Hogan-led consortium won the contract due to its submissions on several features including price, innovation and their proposed construction programme.

"We are committed to achieving value for money in delivering this project, and the tendered price for construction of $335m represents a savings of $15million or 4% on estimates. These cost savings are due to innovations including using light weight foundations to raise the four lane highway over the Domain Road roundabout. The reduction in the weight of the foundations will minimise long term settlement in the area and remove the need to relocate an electricity substation, thereby saving time and money."

"Another exciting feature of the winning bid is that construction will begin sooner than anticipated. We were originally planning for construction to begin mid-2011, but the Fulton Hogan consortium expects to get initial works underway later this month. A sod-turning ceremony will be held to mark the occasion," says Mr. Wilson.

At a total cost of $455m in today's dollars, the Tauranga Eastern Link is to date one of the largest, by dollar value, single projects the NZTA, or its predecessor Transit New Zealand, has ever built. The $120m difference between the total project cost and the construction cost relates to parts of the project not included in the main construction contract. This includes costs for the enabling works projects, the purchase of outstanding property, development of the toll system, project management, and contingency funds.

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. As well as reducing travel time by up to 24 minutes on a return trip through this area, the Tauranga Eastern Link will improve safety for residents along the current route of State Highway 2 and open up access to new developments planned for Papamoa.

Keep up-to-date with developments at Tauranga Eastern Link.

Editor's notes
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: Puhoi to Wellsford - SH1, Completing the Western Ring Route, Auckland - SH16, SH18 and SH20, Victoria Park Tunnel, Auckland - SH1, Waikato Expressway - SH1, Tauranga Eastern Link - SH2, Wellington Northern Corridor - SH1, Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at RoNS.


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