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Biggest project since Expressway starts

The diggers are rolling up to start work on the Whakatu Arterial Link road, connecting State Highway 2 (SH2) with Pakowhai Rd.

It is the largest road project in Hawke’s Bay since the construction of the Napier-Hastings Expressway in 2002.

As well as making transport of fresh produce across the district more streamlined, the finished road will take heavy trucks off the residential streets of Whakatu, making them safer for families.

With route clearing and fencing work completed over the last few months, main contractor Higgins is about to start work. Crews are starting at the SH2 end, near the Napier Rd turnoff, building one of the three large roundabouts.

A temporary roundabout is being built by Mangateretere School to help manage the traffic during the five months it will take to build the new roundabout further into the project.

Council is committed to keeping traffic disruption to a minimum for those using SH2, but is suggesting using alternative routes around the area if possible.

Unison are also on site, putting in the ground works for roundabout lighting and undergrounding the overhead wires.

The work will then move across the country towards Pakowhai Rd, finishing at the entrance to the Pakowhai Country Park.

The Whakatu Arterial Link is considered a strategic link of the highest priority in the region. The three kilometre route includes three large roundabouts, one at each end and one in the industrial area of Whakatu, and a bridge over the Karamu Stream, at the Pakowhai Rd end.

The cost of the project is $25.6 million, with central Government contributing $17.97m and ratepayers funding the balance.

It is expected that the road will be completed late 2018.

4 October 2017

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