Thousands attending a recent Tauranga Eastern Link family open day found out firsthand how this Road of National Significance is progressing – and what it will mean to them.
NZ Transport Agency TEL Senior Project Manager Wayne Troughton was delighted at the turnout, which gave people an opportunity to see areas of the new road not visible from the existing highway.
“Visitors were taken by bus along a length of the new section of road and given a short, informative commentary on their way to the open day site next to the Kaituna River bridge,” says Wayne. “Our staff along with staff from Beca, Fulton Hogan and HEB Construction also talked to people about the project and the displays onsite. A highlight for many people was the chance to walk over the new bridge – the longest one on this project.”
“These events are a great way to connect with the very people who will be using this highway. The new road will also connect this area and the wider Bay of Plenty – making it easier for freight travel to and from the Port of Tauranga. That will bring economic and safety benefits locally and to New Zealand overall.”
What people said:
“I thought there’d been a lot of work done and it’s really well set out so the public can see what’s been done. It’s a really fabulous way to display the work.”
“With the size of the trucks now any new road that’s created these days is going to make it safer and at it end of the day that’s what it’s about – getting home to our loved ones.”
“The organisation of this day has been fantastic. The opportunity to come and visit… the vehicles for the children to climb over and into… and the outlook from the Kaituna River bridge is just fantastic.”
“Some of the facts and figures were eye-opening… especially the cubic metres of sand that have been moved – and the gravel being used has been locally sourced too. So it really is our bridge; it’s our road.”
The TEL is the Bay’s largest ever roading project. Construction started in November 2010 and the 23km TEL is expected to be completed by late 2015, providing a number of benefits to the community and the wider Bay of Plenty region including improved travel times between Paengaroa and Tauranga, safer travel, more efficient connections for businesses and tourism and a more direct access to the Port of Tauranga for freight.
Follow the progress of the TEL on the NZ Transport Agency’s website at www.nzta.govt.nz/tel(external link). You can also check on progress on other Bay of Plenty highway projects there too via our projects newsletter.