Drivers travelling on State Highway 2 between Waipawa and Hastings can now see the full scale of the College Road – Silverstream Realignment at Roto-a-Tara, Pukehou, with traffic switched from the existing eastern lane to the newly constructed western lane earlier this month.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency started the project in November 2020, after a site blessing led by Ngāi Te Whatuiāpiti, Te Aute College and the local community, which has seen the 1.7km alignment constructed higher than the existing section. With traffic being redirected to the new lane, work can now begin on the existing lane, which will be lifted to be level with the new alignment.
Waka Kotahi Central North Island Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Rob Partridge says realigning the stretch of road will benefit drivers, the community and the freight industry alike.
“The existing road is undulating and winding, and there have been a number of crashes on this stretch in the past. Realigning the road will improve the safety of this key freight route connecting Hawke’s Bay and Manawatū and provide safer passing opportunities,” Mr Partridge says.
Waka Kotahi representatives joined Ngāi Te Whatuiāpiti hapū kaumātua, Martin Whaanga and James Graham of Pukehou marae, Russell Roads and Stantec staff in a karakia and blessing earlier this month to clear the way for traffic to use the newly constructed western lane.
Funded through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, the project includes creating a wider corridor, constructing a southbound passing lane, the installation of median and side safety barriers and a right-turn bay into College Road.
Between now and the end of the year, when the project is complete, more than 10,000 cubic metres of aggregate will bring the old section level with the new alignment, 3000m3 of earthworks will be done and 11,000m3 of pavement will be laid.
Waka Kotahi thanks road users for their patience while we make this important safety improvement to SH2.
For more information about the project, please visit the SH2 College Road to Silverstream – Roto-a-Tara, Pukehou project page.