Te Ara Tūtohu: Waitara to Bell Block safety improvements project at Princess Street enters final stage


Te Ara Tūtohu: Waitara to Bell Block safety improvements project is entering the final stage of construction on the Princess Street roundabout and pedestrian underpass and from Saturday (3 February), a short section of Princess Street west will be closing as contractors continue the work.

Stage 4 of the Princess Street roundabout and pedestrian underpass section of the Taranaki safety improvements project involves construction of the northbound lane, stormwater works, landscaping and fencing as well as completion of the pedestrian underpass and asphalting of Princess Street. It is the final stage of this section of the project.

During this stage, Princess Street between State Highway 3 and Armstrong Avenue will be closed to everyone except residents and will reopen mid-2024.

From 3 February, people travelling to or from Waitara from Princess Street will need to use Nelson Street or Bayly Street. Those wanting to access Princess Street west from Princess Street east (Tikorangi side) will need to use Bayly Street.

A temporary roundabout will be set up at the Princess Street/SH3 intersection during the upcoming closure to minimise confusion while driving through the intersection. Residents in the closure area will continue to have access to their property, and pedestrian access across the Princess Street intersection remains open.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi acknowledges the closure will cause further disruption, just at the time when the state highway reopens, but we’re confident that by closing Princess Street for this period, we can minimise traffic delays, and ultimately speed up the project.

This final stage is ahead of schedule in the wider Waitara to Bell Block safety improvements project, which will see new roundabouts built at the intersections of Princess Street, Waitara Road, SH3A (Mountain Road) and De Havilland Drive, along with other safety improvements, such as flexible median barriers.

Waitara to Bell Block safety improvements project

SH3 will be open to both lanes from 3 February when work begins on this stage of the project. SH3 closed in December between Nelson Street and Bayly Street, with traffic detouring through Waitara to allow for the acceleration of stage 3 of the project.

During the Stage 3 closure, work on the pedestrian and cycle underpass at Princess Street involved some heavy lifting, with workers moving approximately 1,000m³ of clay to compete earthworks. The foundations and concrete slab, as well as the stormwater work below the underpass foundations and waterproofing have also been completed.

Workers have also installed lifesaving flexible road safety barrier between Bayly Street and Mamaku Road. Safe, reliable links between Waitara and Bell Block are crucial to the area and installing flexible median barrier contributes to making the road safer for all road users.

Princess Street closure from 3 February.

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