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Work to remove asbestos at Maungatapu underpass site starts in February

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The NZ Transport Agency says work to remove the asbestos contaminated area at the Maungatapu underpass site will start next week.

From Wednesday 3 February  the area near the old Baden Powell Centre will be screened off in preparation for  with specialist contractors planning to start work on February 9. 

The weather dependent removal is expected to take between seven and ten days and will stop if the wind reaches unsuitable levels.   

The Transport Agency's acting Bay of Plenty highway manager, Adam Francis, says approximately 10 trucks a day will leave for Tirohia, a certified contaminated material dump site near Thames. 

Mr Francis says all precautions are being taken and the operation is low risk in regards to public safety. 

"The site, weather conditions, air quality and dust levels will be closely monitored throughout the removal process by WorkSafe, BOP Regional Council and independent consultants, with the contaminated area, approximately 500m2, kept continually dampened," he says.   

"Personnel working on site will be wearing protective clothing and the trucks will be fully lined to securely contain the loads." 

The area remains secure in line with all health and safety, environmental, legal and regulatory guidelines.    

There may be some changes to the traffic management on Welcome Bay Road to allow the trucks to get into and out of the work site however motorists should expect only minor delays. 

Mr Francis says it is business as usual for the rest of the underpass team who will be continuing with other operations on the site to ensure that the project remains on track. 

The contaminated area was uncovered while earthworks were being carried out in late-2015.

If there are any concerns members of the public can call: 0800 772 532. 

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