State Highway 2 will be closed between the Bayfair roundabout and the Te Maunga intersection this weekend to enable construction of the second of Bay Link’s three bridges.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency regional manager infrastructure delivery, Jo Wilton, says the closure is critical given the equipment required to install ten concrete beams - the main structural element of the new bridge - across the Te Maunga intersection.
“This is a significant closure that will impact people’s weekend travel,” says Jo. “A 350-tonne crane is required to install the new bridge beams. Work will take place during day and night shifts to minimise the duration of the closure.”
Located at Te Maunga intersection, the new bridge will span State Highway 2.
For the bridge to be constructed, the road is anticipated to close from approximately 10pm on Friday, July 2, until 5am on Monday, July 5.
During the closure, ten reinforced concrete beams, 26m long and weighing 47 tonnes, will be placed across the highway near the Te Maunga intersection by a crane positioned in the middle of the road.
“As delays are anticipated, we recommend people plan their travel outside of this closure where possible, use alternative routes and allow extra time for travel,” adds Jo.
A signposted detour is available via Girven Road, Maranui Street, Sandhurst Drive and the Sandhurst Drive/Mangatawa Interchange.
Jo says it’s great to see so much progress on the project. “Following construction of the bridge spanning the East Coast Main Trunk railway line in February, this is the second bridge to go up in a matter of months.”
The interchange bridge at Te Maunga is anticipated to open next summer under temporary traffic management.
“Once operational, Te Maunga interchange bridge will carry all State Highway 29A traffic to and from the SH2 interchange, removing the need for motorists to cross the railway line and allowing traffic to flow more freely onto the Tauranga Eastern Link.
“Upon project completion, the finished interchange bridge will transform the intersection and improve safety.”
Following placement of the beams, further work is required to complete the bridge deck and barriers along the edges.
After the bridge deck is poured a settlement period will begin, which allows the earth to settle once loads are applied to the ground below.
This area will lay dormant until the majority of the expected settlement has occurred - a process which is anticipated to take approximately three months.
If this work is impacted by weather or other unforeseen issues, it will be carried out on the next available weekend.
“Waka Kotahi thanks motorists, local residents and businesses for their patience during the closure,” says Jo.
“We would also like to acknowledge Baypark Events Venue and Tauranga Airport for their work to accommodate this closure around major events and airspace considerations.”
For more information, visit the State Highway 2 closure tab on the Baypark to Bayfair Link project page at: www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/baypark-to-bayfair-link