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Te Puke Times - 2021-10-14

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Revamp begins for region’s roads

FRONT PAGE

Maintenance crews will be out repairing and resealing a substantial amount of the Bay of Plenty state highway network over the coming months. The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency summer roadworks programme is getting under way this month. Some of the region's major work sites will include State Highway 2 (Athenree to Bethlehem) and State Highway 36 (Pyes Pa¯ to Ngongotaha¯), as well as continuing safety works on State Highway 33 between Paengaroa and Rotorua. Bay of Plenty transport system manager Roger Brady says Waka Kotahi will be delivering roadworks on over 140 lane kilometres of state highway in the Bay of Plenty to ensure the safety and resilience of the network. “The warmer and drier spring and summer months are the best time for major roadworks as daylight hours are longer and the warm temperatures and dry air helps new seal to stick to the road surface. “Considerable planning is done with our team and suppliers to look at historic traffic and travel trend data, and what worked and didn't work last season. While we aim to complete the work with as little disruption as possible, the reality is there will be delays to journeys,” says Mr Brady. Waka Kotahi will use mobile message boards, social media and radio advertising to keep people informed ahead of major works. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead by using the Journey Planner website (journeys.nzta.govt.nz). “We want to keep everyone safe, including our road workers. Speeding through roadworks puts the safety of other road users and our road workers at risk, and we ask that people please slow down, leave space and be patient. “Most work stops before busy holiday travel periods like Labour Weekend, Christmas and New Year to minimise disruption to people's journeys. Where we can, we also try to complete roadworks at night, over the weekend or outside peak times,” says Mr Brady. Waka Kotahi is responsible for approximately 11,000km of state highway network across New Zealand. At a value of $52 billion, the state highway network is the country's largest value physical asset and is of critical importance to the country's economic and social wellbeing, connecting people and places and efficiently moving freight to markets. “The overall investment in maintenance through the 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) is $2.8 billion over the next three years, including an estimated $240 million for emergency works. This is a 30 per cent increase on the previous three years. “This means we can maintain current levels of service and we will prioritise keeping our roads safe, avoiding disruption for users.”

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