8 February 2013
State Highway 30 (SH30) at Ruato Bay on Lake Rotoiti between Rotorua and Whakatane will be closed overnight for three consecutive nights from Sunday (10 February). This is so investigations can be carried out to determine an effective solution to stabilise the cliff face which caused a large slip last year and reduced a section of the road to one lane.
The NZ Transport Agency says work will be undertaken at night to minimise disruption to traffic during the day when this road is much busier. The works, which will be managed by the Rotorua District Council, will start from 10pm on Sunday 10 February and continue through to Wednesday 13 February finishing each morning at 5am - well before daytime traffic builds up.
“Due to the limited space available the closure of SH30 at Ruato Bay is essential to allow the investigation works to be carried out that will determine what foundation needs to be designed for the new road,” says NZTA’s Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Brett Gliddon.
The section of road to be closed along SH30 at Ruato Bay along the shores of Lake Rotoiti is near the Lake Okataina turnoff, approximately 20km from Rotorua.
During this period road users are encouraged to alter their travel plans if they coincide with the closure times, or alternatively, if travelling to/from the Eastern Bay take State Highway 2 and State Highway 33 (via Paengaroa) to avoid the site altogether.
“A detour will be in place and drivers are asked to use SH2 and 33 (via Paengaroa) if travelling from Whakatane and Kawerau; or SH33 and SH2 if travelling from Rotorua to Whakatane. This is a longer distance, adding up to an hour to journey times so motorists will need to allow adequate time”, says Mr Gliddon.
He says, “There is no ideal time to carry out investigations and we need to get this work done so we can design and build a safe permanent solution.”
Following the investigation, the next process is for the preferred solution to be designed and the works tendered to a contractor to carry out the repairs.
It is likely that this construction work will require full closure of the highway, for periods during the day, over some weeks. The full closure is required due to very limited road and construction space available. The permanent repairs are likely to be underway by late April to July 2013, the road will remain a single lane with signalised lights controlling traffic until the works commence in late April.
Mr Gliddon says SH30 is an important link between Rotorua, Kawerau, Whakatane and the wider Eastern Bay of Plenty, it is also a key heavy vehicle route to the Port of Tauranga and ensuring the security of this road is vital for the Bay of Plenty’s economy.
Motorists wanting to find out more about these road works or the detour route should go to the NZTA’s website at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions; or freephone 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).