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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Traffic on State Highway 3 near the Awakino Tunnel will be stopped for 20-30 minutes at around 11am and 3pm on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 July to allow for controlled explosions to crack a large rock near the road, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises.

After a successful trial blast on 14 June to measure vibrations and assess traffic, the procedure for the main blast has been divided into four smaller blasts to keep traffic delays to a minimum.

The rock is located by the Awakino Tunnel, within the Awakino Tunnel Bypass work site, and needs to be removed in a controlled manner as there is a risk it may fall on to the road in the future.

When the explosion is taking place, a 300 metre exclusion zone will be in place around the rock, so motorists may find themselves stopped some way from the tunnel.

Other short delays to SH3 traffic are possible while the team prepares for the explosion and cleans up afterwards.

Motorists travelling on SH3 between Taranaki and Waikato should allow extra time for their journeys and be prepared for long queues around the time of the explosions.

If the controlled explosions can’t go ahead as planned next weekend, an alternative date or procedure will be advised.

Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience.

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