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Update on Paremata to Plimmerton Upgrade

Monday 17 May 2004

Update on Paremata to Plimmerton Upgrade

While work on State Highway 1 Paremata to Plimmerton Upgrade is continuing to progress well, it is now likely to be completed in June next year - not March as originally expected.

The main reasons for the delay in completing the project are: Wet weather – summer is traditionally the road-building season Utility clashes – power, water and gas services are not where they were thought to be Property modifications – more work was required on some properties than expected

Project manager Catherine Worsley explains: “With constricted urban sites, the work can only be carried out in a particular sequence.

“For instance, along Mana Esplanade we first have to modify the front of 56 properties, prior to relocating services and before completing the kerb and channel. Then we can get on to building the footpath and finally the road.

“While we can estimate how long all of this will take, it is more difficult to allow for what we don’t know about.

“An example of this is when we were installing the storm water pipes along Mana Esplanade, we encountered existing power cables laid at various depths which were different to the underground service maps.

“These had to be lowered before we could continue with the storm water installation. In order to keep SH1 open while we carried out the work we had to use several purpose-built plates so that vehicles could drive over the trench in the road.

“Unfortunately lots of small delays like these accumulate and can result a much bigger delay at the end.”

Ms Worsley added that although the new completion date is now June 2005, there are still some challenges in the future that will have to be met to achieve that date. These include:

More wet weather than anticipated Further utility clashes Unforeseen events such as any archaeological finds Settlement of the western side of SH1, near Plimmerton Weigh Station, takes longer than expected Extra maintenance work on the existing highway (at the northern end of the site) is required

She said: “We hope that none of these things will happen, but obviously we can’t guarantee that any of them, or indeed all of them, won’t occur.

“In respect to traffic delays, we will endeavour to provide as much advance warning as we can of any activities which may have an impact on travel times for motorists.”

Motorists can also help reduce delays - especially if they know of a significant project activity, or are aware of an event that will result in heavy traffic in to, or out of, Wellington.

Drivers may want to make alternative arrangements such as taking the train, car-pooling (less vehicles equals shorter queues) and travelling outside of peak traffic hours.

Transit also urges motorists to follow all traffic management instructions, avoid rubber-necking at scheduled works and being courteous to other drivers by letting them merge. Avoiding the temptation to use “short-cuts”, such as Airlie Road, will also help traffic flow.

The good news in regards to the upgrade is that some major milestones have been met in the last few months. These include:

The ground opposite Plimmerton Weigh Station is being prepared for road construction Acoustic mitigation of 50 properties is all but complete The new kerb and channelling along Mana Esplanade has almost reached Pascoe Avenue Goat Point retaining wall is nearly half way to completion.

Widening the northern end of the site, between Plimmerton weigh station and James Street, to four lanes is still on target to meet its December deadline.

In July the duplicate Paremata Bridge will open to traffic - with a view to having both bridges fully operational by the end of the year. During the five months in between, traffic will be diverted to the new bridge (or a combination of the two) while the approaches to the existing one are re-built, the bus bay constructed and the barriers and retaining walls between the new and existing bridges are installed.

Other milestones will be posted on the Transit New Zealand website which can be viewed at www.transit.govt.nz/projects.

ENDS

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