A section of State Highway 2 at the Ruahihi Bluffs will be closed again this weekend to allow for a large free standing column of loose rocks to be blasted from above the highway.
The NZ Transport Agency advises the highway west of Tauranga will be closed for most of this weekend from 7am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
A section of SH29 at Ruahihi Bluffs will close again this weekend.
This section of the road will reopen on Saturday night with the works expected to be completed by Sunday night at 6pm.
The highway will remain open to one lane until this weekend’s work starts.
It is expected the state highway will be fully reopened on Sunday night when the blasting work to remove the loose large rock is completed.
Bay of Plenty state highways manager Brett Gliddon says the loose rock needs to be removed now and blasting is the best way to remove it.
A detour is through Poripori Road but motorists are advised it will add an additional 30 minutes to journey time and drivers are being advised to allow for the additional travel time or where possible use alternate state highway routes - such as SH2 if travelling between Tauranga and Auckland or SH36 and SH5 if heading west towards the South Waikato and Taupo area.
Rugby supporters travelling from Taranaki for the ITM Cup game against the Steamers this Saturday are advised to allow sufficient time for their journey.
“Fans need to plan their journeys in advance to allow for the additional travel time if heading to Tauranga, we do not anticipate large numbers of travellers and we have certainly allowed for the expected volumes using either the detour route or the alternate roads. This section of the highway will reopen from 6pm on Saturday,” says Brett.
“We really appreciate that drivers, local residents and businesses feel the impact of such closures and we aim to minimise the effect as much as possible.”
He says the nature of the landscape in the Bay of Plenty does leave roads vulnerable to such natural events and our main priority is to ensure that our state highway is always at a safe standard for driving.