$262m Bay Link project to be completed by 2023

Waka Kotahi has agreed to a new programme with CPB Contractors to get the project finished. File photo.

The Baypark to Bayfair Link is now expected to be completed in late-2023 - a year later then initially scheduled.

Following an extensive amount of reprogramming work, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency can confirm the new completion date for the Bay Link project is late-2023 and the total project cost is $262 million.

Over the past 18 months, the Bay Link project has faced significant challenges, which have substantially impacted on the cost, scope and timeframe for completion, and it’s good to be at a point where we can provide the public with some certainty around timeframes, says portfolio delivery manager Jo Wilton.

“The change of project scope, with the inclusion of the underpass at an advanced stage of the construction programme, combined with complex ground conditions and the impact of COVID-19 at a critical time, have all had a cumulative effect."

Waka Kotahi has agreed to a new programme with CPB Contractors to get the project finished, while ensuring high standards are maintained and health and safety remains front of mind.

“The project is now approximately 60 per cent complete and the revised programme ensures the road will be completed by late-2023."

Staging in a construction programme is critical, and if one activity shifts, this impacts on all subsequent works, says Jo.

“The ground conditions in the Bayfair area are relatively unique and very complicated, and working through the ground improvements has set the project back substantially.

"The timing of the first and second COVID-19 lockdowns were also at critical points in the construction programme, impacting key earthworks and implementation of phase two of the signalised crossing at Bayfair.

“While having a committed timeframe and final cost resolved is a significant step for Waka Kotahi and the project team, we recognise the announcement of a delayed opening won’t be welcome news, especially given the ongoing impact on the neighbouring residents and local business, and people who drive through the site.

“Everyone who lives and works alongside and travels through the project site will be looking forward to its completion as much as we are, and while any delay is unfortunate, with the ongoing commitment and hard work of our project team we expect to achieve the revised road opening date.

“We will continue to work to mitigate the impacts of construction as best we can,” says Ms Wilton.

The key consideration for Waka Kotahi when agreeing the revised programme was ensuring high quality delivery of the project, as quickly as possible, while supporting the continued viability of New Zealand’s construction sector.

The project had been scheduled to open at the end of 2022.

Improving the safety, connectivity and resilience of the Tauranga network is key to helping boost the economic potential of the Bay of Plenty region.

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Posted on 23-01-2021 15:22 | By morepork

"Staging in a construction programme is critical, and if one activity shifts, this impacts on all subsequent works". And any Project Manager has tools that are designed to deal with exactly that. You make a proper Gantt or PERT chart and define the critical path, then you can see immediately when it is going to run off the rails and you can revise the plan or mitigate the effects with more resources. It is called "Management" and there is a reason for that. It needs "managing". Seems to be sadly lacking here. Ask yourself if any of the "excuses" were completely unpredictable. Maybe, Covid, but as soon as that became known, mitigation measures could and should have been implemented. Can you imagine this happening if they were spending their OWN money?

Employ an Austrailan .

Posted on 22-01-2021 18:13 | By Cynical Me

The road canoe people decided to employ an Australian with no record in NZ. Had they employed a company like HEBs or even Fultons the job would have been done. Hebs are the best. On time, On budget everywhere they go. Oh and I don’t have a single share nor do I work or contract for them Their record stands. after all Albert smith built the Hewletts Rd flyover and those guys now work under HEBs. Fire the Canoe roading clowns.

It will fail on opening day

Posted on 22-01-2021 17:42 | By Avman

Apart from the lies that have already been mentioned below (that it was expected to be finished in 2022 when in fact it was to be completed by Xmas 2020), the NZTA has not told people that there have been a lot of negotiations over the project’s ability to even work on opening day. As you have probably all noticed, it is just 2 lanes and any fool can see that it should have been 4 lanes. The NZTA is covering up the fact that it has insufficient capacity and has been trying to fiddle it to get an extra lane in by taking away shoulders. This project will never work even when it finally opens.


Posted on 22-01-2021 16:10 | By Bruja

Not the increased cost, not the schedule over-run. Not acceptable! Sack the Contractors. Oh and yes, some of the ’workers’ too. Sick to death of seeing workers in all sorts of situations - often in retail - texting or scrolling on cell-phones. They now ’serve’ you as quickly as possible and then go back to their cellphones. NO cellphones during work hours or for kids/teachers during school hours either.

Agree with Dumbkof2

Posted on 22-01-2021 12:27 | By

Some countries take the approach of fining contractors heavily if an agreed contract runs over schedule - the same should happen in good old, soft as, New Zealand!! I also agree with his comment about only being paid the tendered price - any other costs should come out of the contractor’s pocket and written down as poor project management.

Roading in NZ

Posted on 22-01-2021 11:33 | By Local Too

Folks thats how NZ rolls everything takes soooooo long to get done.

It's a circus!

Posted on 22-01-2021 11:20 | By WestieMum

Good grief - end of 2022?? when it’s 60% completed already? HUH? Just think how quickly it would get done if they worked around the clock - or at least on weekends?? It’s so frustrating when you drive past on a weekend and nothing is happening....would it not create more jobs and get the project completed sooner if they operated during all daylight hours, 7 days a week!? And by the time they get it finished it still won’t be enough to alleviate the traffic woes, as they haven’t planned for the population growth for the future. SIGH.

Speed It Up

Posted on 22-01-2021 11:05 | By FRANKS

As I sat in my car waiting for the lights to change I watched a worker raking soil at the side of a rolled piece........must have moved the rake at least 6 times in between having a fag and texting on his phone. He may have been weighed down by his safety gear, but this pace would seem very indicative of the whole project.

put back

Posted on 22-01-2021 10:04 | By dumbkof2

Its called job security. The longer it goes the more money they will get. The tendered price is the one that that should be paid. Seems to me that these contractors just think of an amount knowing that they can just add more and more to it as the job goes on. Completion date should be adhered to and a penalty added for every day that it goes over

So then..........

Posted on 22-01-2021 08:10 | By groutby recap, the initial costing was $120mill and to be finished duruing 2020. The point we are at now has risen by well over $140 million to $262 mill and estimated completion at ’the end’ of 2022..some 2 years plus after original completion date. It’s hardly a wonder that locals and taxpayers are pretty grumpy about this is it?...dollar figures just ’roll off’ the tongue when funded by a taxpayer funded agency don’t they...why are these numbers almost always well over budget and time?...have we not the skill and experience to get it right?..and who is to be held accountable?, if not, can we maybe get the ’right’ people such answers are not forthcoming.!

Your kidding right

Posted on 22-01-2021 07:53 | By

Why is this article not highlighting the issues ??? CPB need to be held accountable, ground conditions are no different to the Hewletts Rd flyover, which all information was available before tender !!! Extensive ground geo’s done too !!! And really COVID ??? Can’t keep using that as a excuse !!! Kick CPB to the kerb before they bankrupt too many kiwi contractors!!!!!