Tauranga City Council's third water treatment plant is hitting an important milestone with the construction of the first pipeline set to begin later this month.
The pipeline will connect the reservoir at the intersection of Poplar Lane and Te Puke Highway with the Eastern Reservoir on Welcome Bay Rd.
Tauranga City Council is investing $115 million in the development of this new water supply due to be completed late 2021.
The new treatment plant will serve the future needs of Tauranga, add resilience to the city's water supply overall and provide backup for Western Bay of Plenty District Council's Te Puke water supply, the council said.
Local firm HEB Construction is managing this part of the pipeline construction work which was marked with a blessing of the site at Horaparaikete Trust on April 2.
"Work will be off-road until the end of April when traffic in the area surrounding the pipeline construction will start experiencing impacts," a council spokesperson said.
"From April 29 to June 2020, traffic at the eastern end of Welcome Bay Rd will be reduced to one lane for a 500-metre section, while work to construct the first section of the Waiāri trunk main pipeline is undertaken," the spokesperson said.
"We understand this work will impact on an area of the city where traffic is already under pressure and that there is some overlap with the kiwifruit picking season.
"We have done our best to balance time constraints on construction work with the needs of the community and industry in the area and those of the wider community."
Stop/Go traffic signals on Welcome Bay Rd will be operational 24 hours, seven days a week, and apply to a 500m section that will move as the construction work progresses.
Traffic is expected to be slower at peak times and motorists should anticipate delays.
Traffic on the Te Puke Highway will be impacted by a reduced speed limit when passing the works, to 50km/h for a 200-300 metre section of the road.
The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme includes the development of a new water abstract facility at the Waiāri Stream, a water treatment plant at 315 No 1 Rd in Te Puke, and an underground water pipeline from the plant to Poplar Lane and the Eastern Reservoirs.
Expressions of interest are being sought in relation to further elements to the pipeline construction and tender invitations went out earlier this month and contracts will be awarded in winter this year.
Construction activities began in March last year and expected to be completed in 2021.