Work on crash black spot underway

Construction to realign a section of State Highway 33 half way between Rotorua and Paengaroa is well underway.

Diggers and bulldozers have started moving material from the Pareteiro hillside to form the new road.

NZ Transport Agency Bay of Plenty state highways manager Brett Gliddon said the project would help to improve safety and reduce travel times along that section of State Highway 33 an historic crash black spot known as the Sun Valley Curves.

Mr Gliddon said the series of curves would be straightened which would benefit users of this road by improving safety, reducing travel times and making the movement of freight to the Port of Tauranga more efficient.

Apassing lane will also be installed to enable motorists travelling towards Rotorua from Paengaroa to overtake safely.

A gully will be filled with material taken from the Pareteiro hillside which will help to form the new sweeping curves replacing the existing series of tight sharp curves.

For the first several months works will be off the highway and drivers should expect only minor interruptions at times for machinery or deliveries to access the construction site.

As the project progresses there will be some interruption to travellers along State Highway 33 but drivers will be warned, Mr Gliddon said.

The project is expected to be completed by March 2014 and is estimated to cost $3.6 million.

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- Bay of Plenty Times

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