Work to improve highway at Athenree

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Work to realign a section of road at Athenree Gorge along State Highway 2 and the Athenree Rd intersection, is expected to be challenging but achievable.

The new section of the road is adjacent to the existing highway, the Transport Agency who is managing the project and the funding are realigning a set of tight bends known as the Arden Cottage curves to improve driver safety at this location.

New Zealand Trasport Agency highways manager Brett Gliddon said the set of bends had a poor crash history with a lot of the crashes caused as a result of drivers losing control and coming off the road.

"The project has been constructed in two stages, the first stage was undertaken off the state highway focusing on moving existing drainage and 8,000 cubic metres of material to make way for the new road," Mr Gliddon said.

"This next stage has more challenges as we attempt to tie in approximately 1km of realigned road to the existing highway and lower the Athenree Road Intersection by 3m."

Mr Gliddon said the challenge was keeping traffic moving through the construction site where heavy machinery and workers would be operating, however he was confident that with a well planned programme and a good contractor on board this could be done with minor impact to traffic flow.

He said this project was part of the Transport Agency's commitment to creating a safer transport system through safer roads and roadsides, safer road use, safer vehicles and safer speeds.

The cost of the project is approximately $5.1M with this project being undertaken by Downer NZ Limited. Mr Gliddon said the project was expected to be completed by May next year.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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