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Works planned to trim back the inside walls of the Awakino Tunnel on State Highway 3

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Works to trim the inside walls of the Awakino Tunnel on State Highway 3 to deliver a safer journey for trucks travelling this stretch of road, will begin on Thursday 14th of April.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) Waikato State Highways Manager Kaye Clark says historically there have been problems with trucks scraping the inside walls of the one-lane tunnel, and some trucks were unable to pass through the tunnel due to their size.

The works are expected to take up to four days and will involve complete reshaping of the interior of the tunnel.

The tunnel will still remain single-lane, but will be a lot safer to travel through after the works are completed, Mrs Clark says.

The changes are a result of a safe system approach, where safety agencies look at all of the combined factors that contribute to making safer journeys, including safe roads and roadsides, vehicles, speeds and road use.

"This work could also deliver time and cost savings for the trucking industry and provide more flexibility in route options, due to this section of the state highway network being opened up to use by larger trucks."

To minimise the impact on motorists travelling through this area, works have been scheduled to take place at night between 8pm-4am on April 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th.

Stop/Go traffic control measures will be operating, and motorists can expect delays of up to one hour during these times.

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