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Transit to start construction on major project

MEDIA RELEASE

TRANSIT NEW ZEALAND WANGANUI REGIONAL OFFICE

11 January 2007

Transit to start construction on major project in Paraparas

Transit New Zealand will begin work this summer on the SH4 Okura Realignment, which, once completed, will improve safety while providing relief from delays and road closures for travellers in the Paraparas.

The $9 million project, located at Okura on SH4 between Wanganui and Raetihi, improves a section of highway on which motorists have endured a number of road closures and delays. Slips, dropouts and other weather-related incidents have become common following severe episodes of bad weather in recent years.

The construction of around one kilometre of new highway and two steel bridges relocates the existing highway away from an eroding bank of the Mangawhero River, and a section of hillside that has caused a number of slips on the highway.

“Shifting the highway and building two new bridges will create a safer and more reliable route for motorists through this area.” says regional manager Errol Christiansen.

“This is a strategically important and very scenic route, but it’s also a really challenging environment for maintaining roads. We’ve needed an extensive road maintenance programme on this stretch of highway, and it’s not uncommon to see crews working throughout the night keeping the road open for business.

“The construction of the Okura Realignment means motorists can now look forward to fewer headaches caused by holdups, closures and ongoing repairs,” says Mr Christiansen.

Transit has awarded the construction contract to Concrete Structures Ltd. Work will begin this summer and the project is scheduled for completion in 2010. Construction is not expected to cause significant disruption to motorists, but Transit will keep the public informed of any delays.

ENDS

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