Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

SH2 Waihī to Tauranga Corridor Pānui

26 March 2024


Tēnei te mihi atu ki a koutou i runga i ngā ahuatanga o te wā. Ko te tūmanako ia kei te noho ora koutou ki tēnā pito ki tēnā pito huri noa i te rohe. Anei te SH2 Waihī ki Tauranga pānui, nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou tēnā koutou katoa.

Kia haumaru te haere.

Greetings to everyone at this time and we hope you are all well. This is the latest edition of the SH2 Waihī to Tauranga corridor pānui for stakeholders.

Safe travels.

Construction season is progressing well on the Takitimu North Link Stage One project, with this season shaping up to be the most productive, since work began in December 2021.

Our 2022/23 earthworks programme was affected by the wet weather, with only 65 out of around 100 production days achieved. The crew has worked hard on its approach to programming with weather conditions through the ongoing localised forecasting with NIWA. Last year, between 1 January and 15 February there was 486.9mm rain, during the same period this year there was 83mm!

We are pleased to be tracking well this year with crews shifting more dirt between September and December 2023 than the entire last season. This year’s target is 700,000m3 earthworks.

There has been significant progress on 3 local road bridges, with all 3 nearing completion at Cambridge Road, Wairoa Road and Minden Road. These will be the first bridges completed for the project which is an exciting milestone to celebrate.

See the progress photos below.



SH2/Fifteenth Ave bridge

Site preparation works are underway at SH2/Fifteenth Ave with preloading, drainage and tree clearance making good progress. The construction of the new bridge (connecting to SH29/Takitimu Drive Toll Road) is due to start construction later this year.



SH29/Takitimu Drive Toll Road

Work in this area is becoming more visible with pre-load and surcharge near completion for the flyover bridge abutments and roundabout (northbound) and bypass road (southbound). 

Piling has started for the 363m flyover bridge this month, with an estimated 14 month construction period. 



Cambridge Road overbridge nears completion

Tie in works are underway at Cambridge Road overbridge where a 3-month closure of a 100m section of Moffat Road has allowed the team to complete these works as fast as possible. 

The closure has been supported by significant communications and engagement activity at a local and regional level and we are now looking forward to opening the new bridge, on schedule, in April.

The third phase of this work will see new road layouts built for Cambridge Road East / Moffat and Harrison roads intersections. Shifting these roads makes way for the 4-lane expressway to be built underneath the bridge, and will result in a safer Cambridge Road East intersection, with a better line of sight.

The 100m bridge was built with a top down construction method, and has 24 piles down to depths of up to 40 metres. When tie-in works are finished crews will begin digging down 17 metres to the new highway road level. 

Read more about the Cambridge Road work site here



First of 80 beams arrive at Wairoa Awa (River) bridge

Check out the arrival of this 36m beam ahead of being placed this month at the Wairoa Awa (River) bridge worksite. There will be 80 beams for the 355m bridge across the awa and flood plains. You can also see another of the project’s bridges nearing completion at Wairoa Road, and the alignment taking shape onward through the valley onwards to Te Puna. 



Wairoa Awa (River) Bridge progress

The construction bridge is in full use allowing crews to haul material across the river while the permanent bridge is being built. 

350,000m³ of material has been brought into the valley from the western side of Wairoa Road, to build up to the level of the new road. 

The permanent bridge is our second longest bridge on the project stretching 355 metres over the river and flood plains.



Wairoa Road overbridge

This 100 metre bridge was built in 2023 using a top down construction method, tie-in works are nearing completion to connect the new bridge with Wairoa Road. One lane is now in use while the drainage and tie-in works are completed.

In this image you can see the team has started digging down underneath the bridge - there will be a 21 metre cut down to the new road level. Once the bridge is fully open to traffic and the temporary diversion road no longer needed, excavation underneath the bridge will continue.



Minden Gully interchange bridges

This interchange is a collection of 3 bridges providing on and off ramps, 25 metres above the floor of Minden Gully. This picture was taken in January 2024 above Minden Road, facing east towards Te Mete Valley. 

The off-ramp bridge will be completed mid-2024 and will be in use as a haul road, shifting the project's construction vehicles from SH2.

Te Hakao is an area of cultural significance as the stream is an important tributary that links the mouth of the Wairoa River to Te Rangi tua nehe (Minden).



Transport Minister visits worksite

Transport Minister Simeon Brown visited the Takitimu North Link worksite in March, with Bay of Plenty MP Tom Rutherford and Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell. They viewed progress on site at Cambridge Road overbridge and Minden Gully interchange and met with senior NZTA staff and project team. 

Sunlive published an article following the visit



Athenree Gorge flexible median barrier installation

As part of the safety improvements project between Waihī and Ōmokoroa, 3.8km of flexible median barrier is being installed north of Katikati, through the Athenree Gorge, in April.

Widening work has previously taken place at this location, and installation of median barrier has been coordinated with the reseals programme on SH2 this summer. This is a high-speed (100km/h) high-traffic volume environment with 6,300 (Trig Road) and 11,300 (Bridgeman Lane) vehicles per day. The Deaths and Serious Injuries (DSI) calculator indicates an annual DSI saving of 48%.

This section of median barrier comes ahead of a further 5.5km median barrier to be installed south of Katikati, between 4 roundabouts (SH2/Rea/Tetley to Morton roads), mid-2024.

Roadside barriers have been struck 43 times since being installed in 2020.

Did you know?

While the installation of the median barriers themselves is a reasonably quick process, you will see our teams and traffic management in place for around a month. This is because the concrete that is poured into the holes will take around 28 days to cure. Once cured, the flexible barrier can be pulled to the right tension.

Watch the video on installation of median barriers



SH2 reseal programme nears completion

This season’s resealing programme for SH2 is significant with 20 individual sites to complete (total 250 across the region) and this, coupled with our construction projects and traffic volumes, has resulted in unreliable travel times and people frequently experiencing delays.

In our planning we consider these factors, although there are extra challenges with timings changing based on weather, overnight progress, mechanical issues or other unforeseen issues; the delays early February due to the emergency closure of SH29A as an example.

We have acknowledged the need for more specific information and are finding ways to improve that for people. One way we have done this is to issue detailed traffic bulletins to our database, so people are receiving information through media, social media and direct into their inboxes.

Notable changes to road layouts 

The removal of 2 passing lanes between Ōmokoroa and Te Puna will significantly improve road user safety, reducing the risk for right turning traffic from Barrett Road and Ainsworth Roads, and improving traffic flow of SH2 by removing the merge which contributes to congestion.

The area between Snodgrass Road and Te Puna (including the passing lane at Ainsworth Road) has one of the highest crash rates in the Bay of Plenty.

Wider lanes and centrelines in these sections of the road will reduce the likelihood of head on and overtaking crashes.

Takitimu North Link Stage One will be using the passing lane (consuming the slow lane) as part of its traffic management plan for the western tie-in work at SH2.