Lanes to change from tomorrow at Baypark

A guideline for motorists that will be travelling through the roadworks. Image: NZTA Waikato/Bay of Plenty.

Motorists travelling along State Highway Two through the Bayfair to Baypark link will notice a change from tomorrow onwards.

Traffic travelling along the stretch of road will be switching to new lanes from tomorrow morning.

The traffic switch will allow for earthworks to begin and utility services to be relocated on Maunganui Road between Girven Road and Exeter Street, in preparation for construction of the Papamoa-bound on and off ramps.

City-bound traffic will use the new lanes from Wednesday morning, and from Friday morning, 26 October, traffic travelling towards Papamoa and Baypark will move onto the old city-bound lanes.

Also, from Friday, access onto Maunganui Road from Exeter Street will be temporarily closed, and there will be no right turn option from Bayfair carpark onto Girven Road near the roundabout.

The changes are some of many being made as part of the Baypark to Bayfair Link project which is also celebrating the first of 3,400 stone columns being installed.

The columns will improve the ground conditions throughout the site so it can eventually take the weight of the two flyovers.

Installing stone columns involves putting vertical columns of stone (gravel) into the ground and using vibration to move the sand to make way for the stone.

This will be done using an 80 tonne crawler crane with a 3.2 tonne ‘vibroflot’ attached - the vibrating element that carries out the compaction and delivers the stone.

NZ Transport Agency Project Manager John McCarthy says the installation of the columns is a significant milestone for the project.

“The stone columns will cover more than two rugby fields and use enough gravel to fill eight Olympic-size swimming pools.

“They push against the surrounding ground, increasing its density and enabling the ground to support the weight of the on and off ramps that will be built on top. It will also protect the ground from the risks of liquefaction during an earthquake.

“Each stone column is relatively small (up to 16.5m deep and 1.1m in diameter) and installation takes 20 to 40 minutes each to complete,” says John.

The stone column work has started on SH2 Maunganui Road near the Te Maunga roundabout. A second stone column rig will arrive in a few weeks. Construction of the 3,400 stone columns is expected to take approximately 10 months.

He says while nearby residents can expect some vibration during the stone column works, every effort will be made to minimise the impact of noise and vibration during the project.

The Baypark to Bayfair Link is designed to reduce congestion and improve safety by separating local and state highway traffic and providing walking and cycling connections. The key features include the construction of two flyovers and improvements to the SH29A and Truman Lane roundabout, and the SH2 Maunganui-Girven roads roundabout.

View a video of the stone column work here:

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