State Highway 5 Utuhina Stream Bridge will re-open tonight


Rotorua road users will be travelling over the Utuhina Stream bridge once again when the bridge re-opens to traffic at this evening. Detailed planning combined with fine weather and favourable ground conditions has seen the work completed three days early.

The road was closed on Monday 25 September, with work expected to take three weeks to complete. Opening the road earlier than expected is a brilliant result for road users says Frankie Evans, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager for the Bay of Plenty. 

“The works were timed to coincide with the start of the school holidays, to take advantage of fewer people on the roads. With around 25,000 vehicles using this route every day, this helped ease congestion on the alternative routes across Rotorua. 

“Everyone working on this project made it a priority to complete the works as quickly as possible, with day and night shifts taking place over the past 2 weeks. Our contactors Fulton Hogan and BECA did an awesome job.” 

“We knew congestion would worsen with schools back this week, which is why additional traffic management was put in place on the local detour routes to ensure traffic could flow as well as possible. 

“Unfortunately, this had to be discontinued following two disgraceful incidents of threatening and abusive behaviour from members of the public. These incidents have been very traumatising for the workers affected.  

We’d like to thank NZ Police for their prompt investigation of these serious incidents, and providing support throughout these works. 

Rotorua Lakes Council Group Manager Infrastructure and Environment Stavros Michael says it is great the critical remedial work is complete and ahead of schedule. 

“Careful consideration was given to minimising the overall impact of the project and we thank the community for their patience during the full closure and Waka Kotahi for finishing ahead of time.” 

While crews are packing up the site ahead of opening tonight, this is just the start of the construction season for road workers across Aotearoa, says Ms Evans. 

“This summer is significant for state highway infrastructure projects and road maintenance renewals across the motu. Roadworks will be happening right through the summer, and while we know this is frustrating, the outcome is better roads for you to drive on. Plan ahead so you can avoid the worst of the disruption.”