Further delay on upgrade to SH2

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 12:00 14/05/2012

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Work on upgrading State Highway 2 between Woodville and Dannevirke may not finish until late next year, a further delay for the troubled project.

The news comes just days after one headache for motorists travelling between Manawatu and Hawke's Bay was relieved slightly with the announcement the Manawatu Gorge would reopen to one-way traffic within a month.

What was originally slated as a $10.9m project on SH2 hit a road block when construction firm Hurlestone Earthmoving folded in July.

Work began in October 2010 but stalled until Fulton Hogan was awarded the tender in December for the remaining work.

The total cost of the upgrade, which includes straightening a section of road, a new bridge over Mangaatua Stream and a new rail underpass at Papatawa, is now estimated at $12.6m. NZ Transport Agency regional state highways manager David McGonigal said work on the Papatawa section of the realignment was "on track to finish late next year".

The project was originally to be completed by later this year.

But work at Papatawa was now going "full steam ahead", Mr McGonigal said.

"Contractors are working to finish laying the new road surface at the southern end of the project.

"Throughout winter motorists will be driving on a fully sealed road surface and physical work will resume again when the construction season begins later this year."

At the Corby curves, the last 600 metres of new pavement was being prepared for sealing and would be finished this month, weather permitting.

Mr McGonigal said about 35,000 cubic metres of material from the Manawatu Gorge slip had been used on the SH2 work, saving about $160,000.

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- Manawatu Standard

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