Post sponsored by NewzEngine.com

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Improving safety is at the heart of the Takitimu North Link project, which today announced the award of the construction contract to Fulton Hogan and HEB Joint Venture.

Artist impression – the Wairoa Road overbridge is one of three large span ridge bridges across the project.

Improving safety is at the heart of the Takitimu North Link project, which today announced the award of the construction contract to Fulton Hogan and HEB Joint Venture.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships, David Speirs, welcomes the project moving ever closer to reality for Western Bay of Plenty communities living alongside the busy State Highway 2.

“This is a beautiful part of Aotearoa that has seen rapid growth. Takitimu North Link will provide an alternative route, improving safety and accessibility, and providing more transport choice for communities on this important corridor.”

“This is a huge investment into the Bay of Plenty, and one of the largest projects within the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

“We are now into the construction phase of the project, with enabling works underway, essential ecological and environmental investigations continuing, and main construction beginning this summer.”

Mr Speirs says people can also look forward to more options on how they travel, helping them get where they’re going safely.

“Providing options on how people want to travel will be significant for the area. The continuous and separate shared path gives people the ability to cycle, ride e-bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards and walk. There will be regular access points from local roads to connect communities.”

Since the design portion of the contract was awarded in May 2021 contractors FH/HEB JV have progressed site investigations, technical assessments, and detailed design.

“The contract was split into two parts, design and construct, allowing the design to continue while property negotiations were completed. The progress with land acquisition over the past 18 months has brought us to the construction phase,” Mr Speirs says.

“Fulton Hogan and HEB Joint Venture bring significant experience to the project, having previously built the Tauranga Eastern Link. They are ready to hit the ground running this summer and enabling works are already underway.”

“The five-year project includes three million cubic metres of earthworks as well as the construction of eight bridges, 29 culverts, eight stream diversions and seven wetlands.”

The contract is an important milestone for the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which will provide better travel choices that help people in growing communities get where they’re going safely. Waka Kotahi and KiwiRail are delivering the Government’s $8.7 billion investment in road, rail, public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure.

The New Zealand Upgrade Programme provides the fully-funded pipeline of work that industry have been calling for. At its peak of construction, 350–400 people will work on the project, but about 4,500 would be inducted over the five-years construction.

Waka Kotahi will work alongside Te Tiriti partnership roopu (group), Te Paerangi, together with Fulton Hogan and HEB Joint Venture, to deliver the project.

The Joint Venture Project Director/Contractors Representative, Tony Gallagher, says the team is ready to start construction on this long-awaited project for the Western Bay of Plenty.

“This is an exciting milestone for our team, which has been busy working towards this point for some time. A big focus has been delivering the design, and undertaking archaeological and environmental investigations. We look forward to working with mana whenua and the wider community and meeting our neighbours to the project. We value the support of everyone to deliver the new expressway and shared path.”

Tauranga City Council Chair Anne Tolley says awarding of the construction contract for the major Takitimu North Link project is a significant step forward for the city and the sub-region.

“This new link will significantly improve road connections between Tauranga and the growing communities to the north, as well as providing better options for people to travel to and within the city using other transport modes. We welcome this progress – the completion of this key project literally can’t come soon enough, and it will be great to see work get underway in earnest.”

Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber welcomes the announcement that will see construction works getting underway this summer.

“There has been plenty of hard work behind the scenes to get the project to this point, and I commend all involved for their efforts. But the real work has only just begun.

“It is no secret the western Bay of Plenty sub-region is one of the fastest growing areas in Aotearoa, New Zealand and so the construction of the new multi-modal Takitimu North Link will go a long way to creating a transport system that is safer and less congested.

“This will also be of incredible benefit to the local economy with employment opportunities.”

Additional information

Takitimu North Link will support urban growth in the western Bay of Plenty and is a key part of the region’s Connected Centres programme developed by the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI).

The expressway runs 6.8km between State Highway 29 Takitimu Drive Toll Road and Te Puna, providing an alternative to State Highway 2 and moving trucks away from local roads. It will significantly improve safety and accessibility, build resilience, support growth and provide more transport choice for communities, with provision for public transport and a shared path for walking and cycling.

This is a key strategic transport corridor, commuter and freight route, as well as an important tourist link for the northern Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Peninsula.

The Western Bay of Plenty is projected to grow by 16,000 people in the next 20 years, and traffic crossing the Wairoa Bridge is predicted to increase from 20,000 to more than 30,000 daily by 2031.

Stage Two of the project, Te Puna to Omokoroa, will be a protected route under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, however there is not currently funding for further work beyond route protection.

Takitimu North project page

Artist impression – a continuous and separate shared ‘active mode path’ provides a safe and efficient connection for people cycling, riding e-bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards and walking. The path will be on the north side of the corridor, and provide regular access points to local roads and points of interest.

Artist impression – the overbridge interchange at Te Rangituanehu/ Minden Road is a collection of three bridges providing on and off ramps.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:

MIL OSI