Underpass work set to start

Contractors are gearing up to build Tauranga’s Maungatapu underpass, with preliminary works set to start this month ahead of full construction.

The underpass will be built on State Highway 29 and is part of NZTA’s Hairini Link project, focussing on reducing congestion and boosting safety as traffic volumes in the area increase.  

A designer’s drawing of the Maungatapu underpass. Photo: NZTA.

Once finished, the underpass will deliver a two lane road underneath the Maungatapu roundabout, which will connect directly to Welcome Bay Road.

In addition toreducingtraffic congestion at peak times, it will make travel safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists.

Construction is set to start in September 2015 and the project is expected to take three years to complete.

NZTA’s Bay of Plenty highways manager Niclas Johansson says people will notice some activity around the site from this month as contractor Fulton Hogan begins preliminary works.

“Fulton Hogan Ltd was awarded the contract to design and build the Maungatapu underpass late last year,” confirms Niclas.

“They have carried out detailed geotechnical work on the site over the past month and will now begin preliminary works to prepare the site for construction to begin.”

“The preliminary work includes clearing vegetation, installing drains to help keep the site dry when work starts, and removing eight houses from Hammond Street.”

A number of environmental control systems, such as silt screens to prevent run off into waterways, will also be put in place over the next few weeks and a temporary road to give residents and contractors access to Hammond Street will be built.

Niclas says a public open day will be held in late July to give people the opportunity to find out more about the project and how it will improve safety and congestion in Tauranga.

The exact date of the open day will be advertised in the coming months.


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