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Home >> Local News >> Political Beat

Eastern Link begins

Posted at 11:40am Friday 19 Nov, 2010

Transport Minister Steven Joyce is at State Highway 2 near Papamoa for the sod turning ceremony that marks the construction start of the Tauranga Eastern Link highway project.


Transport Minister Steven Joyce at Papamoa with other ministers and politicians for the ceremony.

This ceremony, occurring late Friday morning, is six months ahead of the original schedule because of the successful contractor's tender for the $335 million project.

A consortium led by Fulton Hogan, and including HEB Construction, Opus International Consultants, URS Corporation New Zealand, Peters and Cheung, and Bartley Consultants will build the Bay of Plenty's largest roading project.

The Fulton Hogan-led consortium won the contract due to its submissions on several features including price, innovation and their proposed construction programme which allowed initial works to begin almost immediately.
The tendered price for construction of $335 million represents a saving of $15 million or four per cent on original estimates.

The four lane highway will run from Te Maunga to Paengaroa and bypass Te Puke.

It will include 6km of existing highway from Te Maunga to Domain Road, and 17km of new highway to the junction of State Highway 2 and 33.

Tolls of $2 for cars and $5 for trucks will apply to the Te Puke bypass section from Domain Road to Paengaroa.

“We know there will be a lot of interest in the project as it gets underway and we'll be working hard to keep people informed of progress,” says New Zealand Transport Agency Regional Director Harry Wilson.

“This will include a dedicated website and an on-site visitor centre which is due to be opened next year.

“We are excited about what completing this project will mean for the Bay of Plenty and are grateful for the support of our local government partners.”

Construction will involve more than three million cubic metres of earthworks to build a 23km four lane median-divided highway. Construction is expected to take five to six years, depending on soil and weather conditions.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the Tauranga Eastern Link is a road of national significance because of the safety and productivity gains it will bring both regionally and nationally.
“It is estimated that on average 200 to 250 people will be working on the project at any given time over the next five years, with more jobs expected to be created or retained in support industries and the wider regional economy,” says Steven.
“In the longer term, the new road will boost productivity, improve access to the Port of Tauranga and greatly enhance safety.”
It's estimated that the new road reduce travel time for a return journey between Paengaroa and Te Maunga by 24 minutes.
“As well as shortening the journey for motorists and reducing transport costs for business,  greater efficiencies and access to the Port of Tauranga will help increase the volume of exports and in turn the growth of the region.
“It will also bring significant safety gains on State Highway 2 between Tauranga and Paengaroa, which is ranked second worst in the country per kilometre for fatal and serious injury crashes by the KiwiRap programme.”

All going well, it is expected to open to traffic in 2016.

View informational videos about the TEL here.


COMMENTS


Posted on 19-11-2010 15:55 | By

weve waited over 30 years to see maungatapu/ 15th ave finished thanks to some ones great idea of the harbour bridge, It seems to me that tauranga doesnt belong to the people its the councils own private city ,if it benifiets the port then we get it if it doesnt help the port then who cares eh

Great Future Investment

Posted on 19-11-2010 14:44 | By Steve Morris

Our city is going to have an even better road transport network in a few years once TEL is complete and 15 Ave through Maungatapu is four laned. As a Papamoa resident, Tauranga is closer than it ever has been.

Ahhh Come on

Posted on 19-11-2010 11:56 | By Tony

Its just a road being built Do we realy need such a bloody preformance over a job starting , Seems like these gathering are just a reason for a cupa and a catch up . Let the work begin without all the carry on

Great news

Posted on 19-11-2010 11:50 | By dogsbody

Excellent news. about time the govt spent some serious money on infrastructure in the Bay. we've been starved of any meaningful development for decades thanks to successive governments, particularly the last nine under Herr Clarke. meanwhile other areas have surged ahead. this despite the bay being one of the largest growth areas. now all we need is re-instatement of some of the passing lanes between Tga-Waihi so traffic can actually flow again.

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