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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

With earthworks on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway rapidly reshaping the landscape at both ends of the 11.5km highway, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is holding a series of public information sessions around the region this month to update the community on the project.

The project has recently had further consent granted, enabling work to continue through winter as weather and ground conditions permit. 

Owner Interface Manager Lonnie Dalzell says work is on track with all sites running to time or ahead of schedule.

“We are going into winter in a good position. A lot of change to the landscape is already visible from Ashhurst and this will increasingly be the case at the Woodville end over the coming months.

“More than 215,545 cubic metres of earth has been moved so far and foundations are being built for Parahaki Bridge – the highway’s 300m structure over the Manawatū River.” 

Mr Dalzell says the information sessions are an opportunity to see the latest drone footage of highway construction and to chat with members of the team. 

“There will also be a photo display of some of the heavy machinery we are using up in the hills, from dump trucks to diggers, excavators and scrub rollers.”

The sessions are:

  • Tuesday 18 May – Bush Multisport Park, 57 Huxley Street, Pahīatua, 4pm-6pm.
  • Wednesday 19 May – Te Ahu a Turanga site office, 1600 Napier Road, Ashhurst, 4pm-6pm.
  • Thursday 20 May – Woodville Sports Stadium, 62 Ross Street, 5pm-7pm.
  • Tuesday 25 May – Dannevirke Sports Centre (supper room), 6 Anderson Street, 4pm-6pm.

There are currently around 160 people employed on the Te Ahu a Turanga Alliance, including subcontractors. The project is continuing to recruit, currently there is a particular focus on roles in the general labouring and heavy machinery fields, in preparation for next major earthworks season.

Mr Dalzell encourages anyone interested in finding work on the highway to come along to one of the sessions. 

“This project is more than just a new highway and shared use path for walkers and cyclists, it’s also about supporting our region through training and employment. We are working with local training providers to enable people to develop the skills and earn the qualifications they need to work in construction. If there’s anyone who doesn’t have the tickets (licences) they need but wants to get them, I encourage them to come along and talk to our team,” Mr Dalzell says.

For more information, please visit www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/te-ahu-a-turanga/(external link)

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