Te Puke residents will experience less delays after the Te Puke Highway fully reopened at the weekend.
A section of the highway was reduced to one lane for five months to allow for construction of water trunk mains along a narrow section of the road.
The pipeline forms part of the Tauranga City Council's Waiāri Water Supply Scheme designed to provide for future needs in the city's drinking water supply.
Tauranga City Council general manager infrastructure Nic Johansson said these types of projects could not happen without a considerable amount of impact on the local community, most notably through delays for traffic.
"Construction of 2500m of water mains pipeline in an area that is populated and sees high traffic use is a challenge for everyone involved. We sincerely appreciate the patience our project neighbours have shown us and hope you will bear with us for a wee while longer," Johansson said.
Construction along Te Puke Highway will continue for a few more weeks which means a 50km speed limit remains in place when passing works.
Pipe laying work crossing Welcome Bay Rd will see a temporary closure announced later this month with local residents kept in the loop of these planned works.
Taurnaga City Council saod the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme will alleviate seasonal pressure on Tauranga's water supply and provide supply to the eastern side of town. The plant is also designed to provide a backup for Western Bay of Plenty District Council's Te Puke water supply in time.
Construction of the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme is divided into three large sub-projects, in various stages of progress:
• The pipeline, connecting the new plant to the existing water network – so far 40 per cent of a total of 25 kilometres of pipe has been completed.
• The intake facility - where water will be abstracted from the Waiāri stream and pumped up the hill towards the treatment plant – currently foundations are being laid for this facility.
• The water treatment facility, where water will be treated using state of the art technology to produce top quality drinking water to Tauranga households.
Tauranga's water supplies draw water from spring fed streams, such as the Waiāri.
This makes Tauranga less dependent than other cities on rainfall. Great care is taken of the health of these streams, which starts well before construction and will continue once the plant is operational.
In accordance with the consent conditions, regular ecological reports ensure the monitoring of the health of the ecology in our intake areas.
The last piece of the puzzle for construction is the contract to build the water treatment plant. It is expected this contract will be awarded in August this year, with construction to start late September.
The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme is fundamental for the future of our city, Johansson said.
"These type of 'once-in-a-lifetime' projects take the best part of a decade to plan and prepare, even before construction starts – so it is very exciting to see the progress that has been made so far."
For more information on the project, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/waiari