Asbestos has been found at a mysterious building site in Welcome Bay by contractors working on the new Maungatapu underpass.

The NZ Transport Agency today confirmed the discovery of asbestos late last month at the site of an old, demolished building on Welcome Bay Rd near the Baden Powell Centre.

The site of an old building on Welcome Bay Rd. Photo/supplied
The site of an old building on Welcome Bay Rd. Photo/supplied

The site, included in the Maungatapu underpass construction, has since been fenced off.

The NZ Transport Agency stated it was working closely with specialist contractors to safely remove the asbestos, discovered while contractors were carrying out earthworks.

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The Transport Agency's acting Bay of Plenty highway manager, Adam Francis said Worksafe NZ, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council have been informed, and there was no immediate health risk to staff or the community.

"The site has been secured in line with regulations and we are currently working with specialist contractors to determine the best disposal measures going ahead," Mr Francis said.

"On Tuesday asbestos specialists will be onsite to investigate the site. We hope to have a disposal method confirmed later this month.

"We are focussed on keeping the community informed as we work to find the best solution."