Ruato Bay highway section to close

A section of State Highway 30 at Ruato Bay will be closed for three consecutive nights so investigations can be carried out to determine how to stabilise the cliff face that caused a large slip last year.

The NZ Transport Agency says the works will be undertaken at night to minimise disruption to traffic during the day when this road is much busier. 

State Highway 30 will be closed overnight for investigation works.

The works, managed by the Rotorua District Council, will start from 10pm on Sunday, February 10, and continue through to Wednesday, February 13, finishing each morning at 5am.

“Due to the limited space available the closure of SH30 at Ruato Bay is essential to allow the investigation works to be carried out that will determine what foundation needs to be designed for the new road,” says NZTA’s Bay of Plenty state highways manager Brett Gliddon.

The section of road to be closed along SH30 at Ruato Bay (along the shores of Lake Rotoiti) will be near the Lake Okataina turnoff, approximately 20km from Rotorua city.

During this period road users are encouraged to alter their travel plans if they coincide with the closure times, or alternatively, if travelling to/from the Eastern Bay take State Highway 2 and State Highway 33 (via Paengaroa) to avoid the site altogether.

“A detour will be in place and drivers are asked to use SH2 and 33 (via Paengaroa) if travelling from Whakatane and Kawerau; or SH33 and SH2 if travelling from Rotorua to Whakatane. 

“This is a longer distance, adding up to an hour to journey times so motorists will need to allow adequate time.”

He says there is no ideal time to carry out investigations and they need to undertake the work to design and build a safe permanent solution.

Following the investigation, the next process is for the preferred solution to be designed and the works tendered to a contractor to carry out the repairs.

It is likely this construction work will require full closure of the highway, for periods during the day, over some weeks.

The full closure is required due to very limited road and construction space available.

The permanent repairs are likely to be underway by late April to July, the road will remain a single lane with signalised lights controlling traffic until the works commence in late April.

Brett says SH30 is an important link between Rotorua, Kawerau, Whakatane and the wider Eastern Bay of Plenty, it is also a key heavy vehicle route to the Port of Tauranga and ensuring the security of this road is vital for the Bay of Plenty’s economy.

Work on State Highway 2, between Te Maunga and Kairua Road, will also be undertaken over the next few Sundays.

The NZTA says motorists travelling along SH2, between Te Maunga and Kairua Road, should expect some minor delays over the next few Sundays while cabling for a power substation is being installed in this area.

The work will start this Sunday from 3am until 4pm with a temporary speed restriction of 30km/h in place. 

Between 5.30am and 2pm a manual Stop/Go will be used and motorists may experience minor delays during this time.

The work will be completed on the following Sunday, February 10, however if due to unforeseen circumstances the work is delayed it will be carried out on Sunday, February 17.


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