Road closed for three nights for inspection of cliff face


State Highway 30 at Ruato Bay between Rotorua and Whakatane will be closed overnight for three consecutive nights later this month.

The closure is so investigations can be carried out to determine an effective solution to stabilise the cliff face which caused a large slip last year and reduced a section of the road to one lane.

The works, which will be managed by the Rotorua District Council, will be between 10pm and 5am each night from Sunday, February 10 to Wednesday, February 13.

New Zealand Transport Agency Bay of Plenty state highways manager Brett Gliddon said the works will be undertaken at night to minimise disruption to traffic during the day when the road is much busier.

The section of road to be closed along State Highway 30 at Ruato Bay (along the shores of Lake Rotoiti) will be near the Lake Okataina turnoff, about 20km from Rotorua city.

Drivers should alter their travel plans if they coincide with the closure times, or alternatively, if travelling to/from the Eastern Bay take State Highway 2 and State Highway 33 (via Paengaroa) to avoid the site altogether.

"A detour will be in place and drivers are asked to use SH2 and 33 [via Paengaroa] if travelling from Whakatane and Kawerau; or SH33 and SH2 if travelling from Rotorua to Whakatane," Mr Gliddon said. "There is no ideal time to carry out investigations and we need to get this work done so we can design and build a safe, permanent solution."

After the investigation, the next process is for the preferred solution to be designed and the works tendered to a contractor to carry out the repairs.

It is likely that this construction work will require full closure of the highway, for periods during the day, over some weeks.

The full closure is required because of very limited road and construction space available. The permanent repairs are likely to be under way by late April. The road will remain a single lane with signalised lights controlling traffic until the works start.

Mr Gliddon said State Highway 30 was an important link between Rotorua, Kawerau, Whakatane and the wider Eastern Bay of Plenty and was also a key heavy vehicle route to the Port of Tauranga and ensuring the security of this road is vital for the Bay of Plenty's economy.

For more information go to the NZTA's website at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions or freephone 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

- Rotorua Daily Post

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