The first stage of the $102 million Baypark to Bayfair (B2B) Link Upgrade in Tauranga looks set to start before Christmas.
The Transport Agency’s Bay of Plenty highways manager, Niclas Johansson has confirmed that the railway relocation work is the first phase of the State Highway 2 project.
An aerial shot of SH2 showing the B2B site. Photo: Supplied.
“The project team is working closely with KiwiRail on the enabling works, which involves relocating the East Coast Main Trunk railway line to the west of Owens Place,” says Niclas.
“The relocation work will be carried out in two stages. Fulton Hogan have been awarded the $4.1 million contract to carry out the first stage, which involves preparing the site of the new railway line.
“Fulton Hogan will be doing the earthworks and drainage as well as building a noise wall and two retaining walls alongside the site of the new railway.”
Niclas says the initial work will start this week and is expected to take five to six months.
Once finished, KiwiRail will start on stage two of the relocation, setting ballast, installing signals and laying new track.
The railway line is expected to be relocated by late 2016, with work on the second phase of the project set to start in 2017, following the tender process.
The finished project will see two flyovers built on State Highway 2. One will take the road over the Maunganui-Girven Road roundabout, with the second routing State Highway 29A over the railway line and the Te Maunga intersection.
Once completed, the Baypark to Bayfair Link Upgrade will reduce congestion and improve safety by separating local and state highway traffic, and encourage economic growth in the region by improving the route to the Port of Tauranga.
The Transport Agency aims to have the flyovers open to traffic in 2020.
The Baypark to Bayfair Link upgrade will connect to the $455 million Tauranga Eastern Link, completing what is known as the ‘Eastern Corridor’ for the Bay of Plenty.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges welcomed the news that work is set to start, saying: “It is exciting to see another transport project get underway that will support Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty’s economic and population growth for decades to come.
“Once it is finished it will make a real difference to people’s travel.”