A Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) milestone will begin this week as piling work gets underway at Papamoa's interchange with State Highway 2.
The Domain Road interchange is considered one of the most complex structures to build on the TEL project.
Before piling could begin, ground conditions had to be improved and pre-load material (sand) was placed more than nine months ago near the Domain Road intersection.
Sections of the pre-load material has been removed over the last few weeks and reused in other parts of the project. The remaining pre-load material in this area will be removed at a later date to allow further settlement to occur.
NZTA's Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Brett Gliddon, said now that some of the pre-load material has been removed, the next phase of construction for the Domain Road interchange bridges is piling, which will be undertaken in two stages.
"In total, 50 piles will be driven to depths of between 42 and 50 metres - 36 piles for one bridge and 14 for the second. It is anticipated that the first stage of the piling will continue through until the end of the year, and the second stage completed in 2013," Mr Gliddon said.
Operation will take place between 7.30am and 6pm Monday to Saturday and nearby residents could experience noise disturbance.
A piling rig was moved to Domain Road late last week where it was previously used at the southern end of the project for the piling on the rail bridge at Maketu.
Piling at the Kaituna River Bridge continues on the eastern (Maketu) side of the river, with piling on the western (Papamoa East) side now completed.