Work to transform one of New Zealand's most dangerous intersections into a roundabout is progressing well, according to the New Zealand Transport Agency.

In December the agency announced it would build a 50m diameter traffic island in an effort to reduce crashes at the intersection of State Highway 5/Old Taupo Rd and State Highway 30/Hemo Rd.

The intersection south of Rotorua city was rated the fourth most dangerous in the country in a 2013 New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) report.

In the 10 years to the end of 2012 the intersection had been the site of 17 crashes, resulting in 23 people suffering injuries.


About 15,000 vehicles travel through the intersection every day, 10 per cent of which are heavy vehicles.

The finished roundabout will include cycle and walking underpasses and new entrances to Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Puia, and is on target to be completed mid-2017.

NZTA national media manager Andy Knackstedt said site preparation work, including the removal of trees, finished mid-July.

He said the work progressing now would see the relocation of services such as telephone, power, water, gas, storm water and sewer lines that should be finished by the end of October.

Next up would be the laying of a "geothermal blanket".

"This is a precautionary measure. The new road will be built on top of this and it allows any heat to vent to the side of the fill embankment without causing any pressure points."

Earthworks are also well underway on the new section of Old Taupo Rd/State Highway 5 which goes through the golf course.

By the end of August, about 25,000m3 of fill (light weight pumice) will be imported from Okareka for the new section of State Highway 5 and it will also be used to help build the new raised intersection.

Once the fill is in place it will be left to settle for six weeks, Mr Knackstedt said.

Still to come are earthworks forming the new roundabout, underpasses and footpaths, the new State Highway 30 road alignment, new Mokoia Drive intersection, road finishing and landscaping.