The $45 million Welcome Bay underpass project is on schedule for completion in the next three to four months, says NZTA project manager John McCarthy.
“We are going well. We are still on track for our plan which is still have project completed around the end of April this year.”
The next part of the construction that people will notice is the construction of the cycleway underpass under the off-ramp.
The diversion to take traffic past the excavation is currently under construction.
The cycle track will take cyclists from the underpass, and across to Hairini Street to link with the existing cycleway.
With the underpass in use, Hairini Street itself will no longer be a major traffic route.
If there are issues with rat runners, the NZTA will liaise with the city council about installing speed bumps to discourage its use, says John.
On the underpass itself the concrete panel are still being installed along the sides, a process that is expected to take about another month.
“We will come back and do base course, street barriers, lights and all the bits and pieces.”
At the Kaitemako Stream culvert, they are still awaiting a little bit of settlement.
The diversion route for the cycleway cutting is visible in the foreground. Photo: Bruce Barnard.
The public will know the project is nearing completion when the road sealing process begins.
“We would like to get it down while it is still nice and hot,” says John.
“We are aiming to do that by the end of March. We might put some sections down before that so we can use the areas for temporary traffic arrangements, we are still working through some of that.”
The power pole has returned to its original location and the NZTA is liaising with the local iwi about the remediation of the replanting of the central island of the Maungatapu roundabout.
The planting will be mostly natives and some will be of reasonable height, says John.
The original roundabout was thought to be one of only two forested roundabouts on state highway network.
“We like to try and use the natural barriers from headlights.”
Unlike the previous roundabout, the new one will be completely surrounded by a barrier.
There is also a planting scheme being planned to enhance adjacent wetland areas.