Tauranga’s main road connection with Hamilton and points north, SH29 over the Kaimais, is closing at Ruahihi next weekend while rocks and trees overhanging part of the highway are removed.
A section of highway at Ruahihi Bluffs will be closed on June 23-24 for most of the weekend; and again for hour long periods intermittently over the following week from Monday till Wednesday.
Ruahihi Bluffs are above the sweeping bend leading to the Ruahihi Power Station, about 17km west of Tauranga. The section to be closed by the New Zealand Transport Agency is between Omanawa Road and Poripori Road.
The weekend closures will be between 7.30am and 5.00pm while the rocks and trees overhanging the section of highway are removed.
“These trees and rocks are a potential risk to the safety of people using the highway, so it’s important that we take proactive steps to remove them now – before they cause an issue,” says Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Brett Gliddon.
“We are very aware that SH29 is a high-use highway,” says Brett. “That’s why we’ve timed the major part of the works to take place over the weekend, when heavy freight traffic volumes are lower than levels during the week.
“The follow up work from Monday to Wednesday has also been planned to minimise disruption to school traffic, by keeping the one-hour closure periods away from the beginning and end of the school day.
“As always, we will do our best to keep delays to a minimum and there will be alternative routes available.”
Traffic will be diverted through Poripori Road, Crawford Road, Wairoa Road and back to SH2 west of Bethlehem.
The detour will add half an hour to travel time and is not suitable for large traffic volumes because of the choke point created by a single lane bridge on Crawford Road.
“That’s why it would be preferable for people to use the alternative state highway routes instead wherever possible,” says Brett.
“People travelling between Tauranga and Auckland or Tauranga and the upper-Waikato should take SH2. People travelling between Tauranga and the lower-Waikato should take SH36 and SH5.
“We apologise for the temporary inconvenience while this work is being carried out and we appreciate people’s understanding of the long term safety benefits it will achieve. We’d like to thank motorists for their patience and we hope they will be able to make the best use of the diversion and alternative routes provided.”
Motorists wanting to find out more about this road works or the detour route in place should go to the NZTA’s website at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions/index.html; or freephone 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).