Plans to complete two significant pieces of work on key routes into Tauranga this month have been adjusted slightly to ensure successful outcomes for contractors and road users.
SH29 Omanawa River Bridge
The bridge over the Omanawa River on State Highway 29, just south of Tauriko, is scheduled for strengthening this month. This work will ensure SH29 continues to support heavy vehicle movements on what is a key freight route.
Enabling works have taken place, and test strips of the strengthening product have been successfully applied and have shown positive adhesion results.
Due to resourcing challenges caused by COVID-19 the strengthening work will now commence on Monday 9 May. As the work is of a sensitive nature all over-weight and over-dimension permits will be suspended from travel over the bridge between 9 and 31 May. During this time, all vehicles requiring either of these permits travelling to and from Tauranga will have to use SH2 via Waihī to the north or travel via Rotorua to the south (SH5-30A-30-33 and SH2).
The bridge will remain open to all other vehicles, including HPMV and 50Max trucks, however a temporary 30kmh speed limit, supported with safe-hit posts over the bridge, will be in place to keep vibrations down to ensure the strengthening process is not compromised.
SH2 Wairoa River Bridge
Resurfacing work programmed to take place on State Highway 2, between the Wairoa River Bridge and the western entrance to Taniwha Place in Bethlehem, will now commence Sunday 15 May. Crews will be on site for five nights, between the hours of 8pm and 5am each night.
A road closure is no longer required as part of this work, stop/go traffic management and a temporary 30kmh speed limit will be in place each night.
Whilst it is unfortunate that plans have had to change, this has provided an opportunity to provide better outcomes to road users, says Roger Brady, Bay of Plenty System Manager, Maintenance and Operations.
“The additional planning time forced upon us due to ongoing resourcing challenges related to positive COVID-19 cases has allowed the test strips at Omanawa River Bridge to be evaluated, and the positive adhesion result means a shorter period of disruption for the freight industry. Contractors have also confirmed they can complete the resurfacing on SH2 without the need to close the road for a short period of time, which is a good outcome.
While we would have liked to have completed the work as per the original timeframes, we need to be flexible when presented with operational challenges. We are committed to completing these works prior to the winter period, to ensure the network is in optimal condition prior to the colder, wetter months that are fast approaching.
Tauranga and the wider Western Bay of Plenty region currently has a high level of investment, with projects such as Waihī to Ōmokoroa, Bay Link, Takitimu North Link and Cameron Road all at different stages. We are also focused on ensuring the network remains at a high standard for road users, and 2022/23 will see us investing $25 million into state highway maintenance throughout the Western Bay and Tauranga.”
Waka Kotahi thanks road users for their patience while this work is carried out.