Construction to realign a section of SH33 half way between Rotorua and Paengaroa is well underway, says the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).
Diggers and bulldozers have already started moving material from the Pareteiro hillside to form the new road with construction currently being undertaken away from public view from SH33.
NZTA’s Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Brett Gliddon says this project will help to improve safety and reduce travel times along this section of SH33.
“The section of SH33 where the work is being undertaken is known as the ‘Sun Valley Curves’ in the Pareteiro area, and is a historic crash ‘black spot’.”
Mr Gliddon says the series of curves will be straightened which will benefit users of this road by improving safety, reducing travel times and will make the movement of freight to the Port of Tauranga more efficient.
Mr Gliddon says a passing lane will also be installed to enable motorists travelling towards Rotorua from Paengaroa to overtake safely.
A gully will be filled from material taken from the Pareteiro hillside which will help to form the new sweeping curves replacing the existing series of tight sharp curves. Mr Gliddon says the work forms part of the NZTA’s Safer Journeys strategy which adopts the world-leading Safe System approach in achieving safer roads and roadsides, safer speeds, safer vehicles and safer behaviours.
For the first several months works will be off the highway and drivers should expect only minor interruptions at times for machinery or deliveries to access the construction site.
As the project progresses, Mr Gliddon says there will be some interruption to travellers along State Highway 33, the project is expected to be completed by March 2014.
“Drivers will be informed of the expected interruptions before they occur”. In the meantime, he asks drivers to be cautious of machinery going to and from the construction site.
A regular project newsletter can be subscribed to on firstname.lastname@example.org , which has been put jointly together by the NZTA's and their project partner Rotorua District Council.
The project is estimated to cost $3.6 million and is being managed by Rotorua District Council as the NZTA’s project partner for the Rotorua area.