Work to realign a section of State Highway 2 through the Athenree Gorge is halfway to completion.
NZ Transport Agency Highways Manager Brett Gliddon says the former section of highway is now completely closed to traffic.
Work on removing the Arden Cottage curves is about half-way.
The realigned section of road is now bypassing a pair of tight bends known as the Arden Cottage curves, and is being used by traffic travelling in both directions.
“These bends have a poor crash history with a lot of these crashes a result of drivers losing control around the bends and coming off the road,” says Brett.
“The project is in two stages. The first stage was completed mid this year and was undertaken off the state highway focusing on moving existing drainage and 8000 cubic metres of material to make way for the new road.
“This current and more challenging stage focuses on tying in the new 1km of realigned road to the existing highway and lowering the Athenree Road intersection by 3metres.”
Work on lowering the Athenree Road intersection by 3m has just started while work to construct a mechanically stabilised earthwall, located near the pancake house, will also start shortly, says Brett.
Speed restrictions and manual stop/go traffic management is in place and will remain for the entire construction process.
Brett says this $5.1million project, undertaken by Downer NZ Limited, is part of NZTA’s commitment to creating a safer transport system through safer roads and roadsides, safer road use, safer vehicles and safer speeds.
The project is on track to be completed by May next year.