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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Works to repair an unstable section of embankment at Oponae, three kilometres east of Wairata Road in the Waioeka Gorge, will get underway from Monday 6 April and is expected to be completed before the end of May.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Bay of Plenty Systems Manager Rob Campbell says the embankment was damaged during heavy rain and has since been reduced to one lane under priority Give Way. Upon completion of these retaining works, the corridor will be re-opened to two lanes.

“These essential works help ensure the road remains safe for all road users. Safely maintaining New Zealand’s state highway system is considered vital at this time in order to ensure critical functions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus can continue.

“Completing this work now will ensure this section of road is robust enough to remain open despite the high river levels that are normal in winter.”

Due to the complex nature of the repair and the confined working area, the westbound lane will need to be closed to keep construction staff and road users safe.

Temporary traffic management will be in place for the duration of the work, including a 30km/h temporary speed limit. Stop/Go traffic management will be in place from 6am – 5pm and traffic lights in place overnight from 5pm – 6am, Monday to Friday. Some weekend work may be required.

Over dimension vehicles are able to pass through the worksite, however haulage companies with any significant loads are to liaise with the Transport Agency.

Mr Campbell asks people to be patient and respectful to roadworkers, and look out for their safety and wellbeing.

“If you see contractors out on the roads during the shutdown period please remember that they are carrying out essential work to keep us all safe.

“If you are using the roads during this period remember to comply with any temporary speed reductions through roadworks to keep workers safe. They are doing vital work and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.

“Only head out for essential supplies or services, otherwise, please stay safe, and stay home.”

Mr Campbell also notes that while the Transport Agency does its best to provide up-to-date information, given the current operating environment under COVID-19 alert system Level 4 some road works may change at short notice, and people were encouraged to visit the Transport Agency’s Journey Planner website (journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link)) for real time information about their journeys.

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