Multimillion dollar gorge work

Work to permanently reinstate State Highway 2 through the Waioeka Gorge will start today.

Last month the work to stabilise the slope above the highway was completed with the single lane road operating without controlled traffic management in place.

Traffic management at the temporary diversion route past the slip.

The work to permanently reinstate the road is estimated to cost up to $11million and is expected to be completed by mid 2013.

NZTA Bay of Plenty state highways manager Brett Gliddon says the construction process is expected to take 30 weeks with the work being undertaken by contractors Downers, who was involved in stabilising the slope and constructing the single lane road.

Brett says technical support to the project will be provided by Opus who manages the maintenance contract for the Agency, they will also manage the necessary resource consent requirements for the permanent reinstatement project.

He says as part of the works a large retaining wall, a Mechanically Stabilised Earth (MSE) wall and rock fall barriers will be constructed to provide additional support and protection to the road from any possible large slips.

“State Highway 2 will be realigned further from its existing location to allow room for the rock fall barriers. 

“The two-lane road will be realigned further out to the Opato Stream - the stream will be widened to its original width, approximately 10 metres, by taking much of the material that fell into it away.  The MSE Walls will provide support underneath the new road when it is realigned out to the stream.”

Brett says temporary traffic management during the construction period will be in place with a Stop/Go manual operation between 7am to 6pm, outside of construction the road will operate similar to a one-lane bridge situation where one direction has priority and courtesy is required.


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