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$900k safety works for Maungatapu bridge

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Maungatapu bridge where Iain Crisp caused a fatal accident December, killing Tauranga father Greg Woledge.
Maungatapu bridge where Iain Crisp caused a fatal accident December, killing Tauranga father Greg Woledge.

A safety project to install a new median barrier at the Maungatapu bridge will begin next Tuesday.

The NZ Transport Agency announced this morning the work will take about two months to complete.

Transport Agency highways manager Brett Gliddon said the project formed part of a suite of safety projects it was looking after along the sections of State Highway 29 from the Maungatapu bridge to the summit of the Kaimai Ranges.

"The changes are designed to improve safety along this stretch of highway and to make it a more forgiving environment for drivers," Mr Gliddon said.

The work forms part of the Government's Safer Journeys strategy and uses the Safe System approach which aims to reduce death and serious injury on high risk sections of the highway by improving the roads and roadsides.

It follows the tragic death of 24-year-old Tauranga electrician Greg Woledge who died following a crash on August 12 last year.

The 1.3km flexible median barrier will be installed between the bridge and the existing concrete barrier on the Te Maunga side of the bridge. Associated works will include passing lane length reduction, pavement widening, earthworks, service relocations, traffic signs and markings.

The median barrier work is being carried out by Waiotahi Contractors Limited and will cost approximately $900,000.

Most of the work will be undertaken along the shoulder of the road with two lanes open at all times to minimise disruption to motorists. Some delays are possible as this is a busy section of highway and the Mr Gliddon said the Transport Agency wanted to apologise to motorists for any inconvenience in advance and thank them for their patience while the safety work was being done.

For up-to-date state highway travel information visit www.highwayinfo.govt.nz or phone the Transport Agency's 0800 4 HIGHWAYS information line to get the latest updates or to report incidents or hazards on the state highways. Alternatively you can sign-up via www.onthemove.govt.nz to receive free email alerts designed to inform you before you start your journey about notable incidents, road conditions or roadworks on the state highway network.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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