Whangarei roundabout completion in weather's hands

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This aerial view shows the construction of a roundabout at the Kensington Ave and State Highway 1 intersection. Photo / Northland Rescue Helicopter
This aerial view shows the construction of a roundabout at the Kensington Ave and State Highway 1 intersection. Photo / Northland Rescue Helicopter

The scale of work being undertaken to create a roundabout on the corner of Western Hills Drive and Kensington Ave in Whangarei has been revealed in an aerial photograph.

The roundabout is due to open in September or October, if the weather allows construction to continue uninterrupted, said New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) Highway Manager Brett Gliddon.

The work has involved removing the overhead power lines and constructing large retaining walls. Construction of a new entrance to Lower Stanley St is also well underway.

There will be no right turns at the intersection of Kensington Ave and Western Hills Drive (State Highway One) until the new roundabout is in operation.

Night works are planned from August 21 for five nights to pave the new roundabout and seal the highway.

During that time, the highway will be reduced to a single lane between Kensington Ave and Manse St from 6pm to 7am, and the intersection with Kensington Ave closed. The Kensington Stadium entrance on Kensington Ave will also be closed.

NZTA is advising people to take the possibility of travel delays into account or plan their routes to avoid the closed road entrances.

As work progresses the temporary traffic signals at Manse St will be removed.

Later stages of the project will involve building a raised median barrier from Manse St to Kensington Ave, building several more large retaining walls and landscaping the site.

The roundabout is part of six staged projects along a 6km stretch of SH1 through Whangarei - worth $37 million - to help manage growing traffic numbers, Mr Gliddon said. They will improve a number of major intersections, removing bottlenecks and congestion.

NZTA bought one property to make way for construction and a number of property owners have been compensated for losses in land.

A chunk of the Kensington Park parking has also been swallowed by the new road layout.

- Northern Advocate

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