Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reminding Rotorua motorists to expect delays as major changes to the State Highway 30/Tarawera Rd roundabout get under way later this week.
The Tarawera Rd roundabout is being upgraded to a signalised intersection as part of the Eastern Corridor Stage One project.
A statement from the transport agency said on Thursday, the existing roundabout will be replaced overnight with a temporary, larger roundabout which will be installed using hit sticks.
Contractors will complete the removal of the current roundabout and construction of the temporary roundabout overnight on Thursday, between 7pm and 5am.
During this time a 30km/h temporary speed limit will be in place. Traffic will still be able to travel through the roundabout, with one lane closed in each direction at various times.
The shift is being completed overnight to reduce the impact on traffic, however delays are expected.
From Friday morning, a temporary speed limit of 30km/h will be in place at all times to ensure the safety of the travelling public and contractors.
The new speed limit will make travel through the intersection slower and cause some delays – particularly at peak times.
Significant delays may be experienced initially as motorists adapt to the new layout.
Waka Kotahi is asking people to expect delays and avoid travel through the intersection at peak times, where possible.
The temporary roundabout is expected to be in place until January 2021.
The new layout will allow contractors to work on the service upgrades in larger sections of the intersection without affecting the live traffic lanes.
This work includes upgrading services at the intersection, including the undergrounding of powerlines, installing a new water main and preparing and sealing the road surface for its new function.
After January 2021, the temporary roundabout will be adjusted approximately once each month until mid-2021 so contractors can access all remaining areas of the intersection.
The work from now until mid-2021 will focus on upgrading services and constructing the new road surface, as well as preparing the site for its final formation as a signalised intersection.
The signalised intersection is scheduled to be complete by mid-2021.