It won’t be long before residents and road users start seeing activity on State Highway 3 to improve the route into and out of New Plymouth.
NZ Transport Agency Regional Highways Manager David McGonigal says work is well underway to prepare for construction of the Vickers to City Upgrade and while there isn’t anything to be seen yet, work behind the scenes is going at full tilt.
Mr McGonigal says a key part of construction is preparing the necessary plans to ensure that when the diggers and dozers move in, disruption will be kept to a minimum.
“We share the community's eagerness for the physical works to get underway, and we're also keen to do it in a way that causes as little disruption as possible, so we're taking the time to prepare for the work ahead.”
“In coming months, people will see work really ramp up, and the project will gradually begin to take shape.”
“This project will transform how we travel in and out of New Plymouth, and it’s hugely exciting that we’re rolling our sleeves up to make it happen.”
Mr McGonigal says one example of how the construction team plans to get the improvements built more efficiently is by preparing concrete bridge beams offsite. This work is already underway, and while this isn’t seen, it means the bridge can be built more swiftly. Once the foundations are ready the beams can be manoeuvred into place rather than waiting for them to be made.
The first signs of activity that people will notice are plants, shrubs and trees being removed from around Waiwhakaiho Bridge later this month. This will make space for a work site to be set up in mid-September. Plants and shrubs and the cycle bridge will also be removed in mid-September at Te Henui bridge. While the new bridge is being built, a shared walking and cycling path will be set up on the existing bridge.
“It’s crucial that we safely remove the plants, shrubs and cycle bridge, and avoid as much disruption to the community as possible. With a project like this, we know there will be delays while the work is done, so we wanted to express our thanks in advance for everyone’s patience. We’re also shortly going to be a visible feature of your community so we plan to keep everyone updated on our activities so you can move around the city as smoothly as possible”
“This is Taranaki’s busiest corridor and while we expect some disruption during the construction, we know that once it’s completed, the community can look forward to shorter trips, fewer crashes and the luxury of having a much clearer idea of how long your trip will take.”
Construction of the Vickers to City Upgrade is due to be completed in early 2016. More information about the construction schedule will be issued next month.
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