State Highway 3 to close at Awakino Tunnel on Sunday night

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 22, 2017

Road resurfacing at the single-lane Awakino Tunnel will see the tunnel closed from approximately 10pm on Sunday 25 June through to 4am on Monday 26 June.

The NZ Transport Agency is urging night-time travellers between Taranaki and King Country to schedule their trips around the 10pm-4am closure.

Transport Agency contractors need to resurface the tunnel and the approaches on either side. The area is constantly wet and presents on-going maintenance challenges.

“While not ideal, the best way to carry the works out is to close SH3 at the tunnel for approximately six hours,” says Transport Agency Highway Manager Karen Boyt.

“We expect freight operators and private travellers will want to alter their plans to get past the tunnel on Sunday night before the 10pm closure.

“A full closure is not taken lightly and we‘d like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience it may cause. The machinery required to complete the work in the tunnel is too large to allow traffic past. But the bigger gear means we can get in and do the job rather quickly rather than spreading it over days under stop-go,” Ms Boyt says.

Plans to build a bypass around the tunnel were announced earlier this year. A two-bridge bypass was selected. Design and consenting work will now commence ahead of construction. The job is in the tendering phase with construction scheduled for 2018-20.

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Photo: The single-lane Awakino Tunnel is at the eastern end of the Awakino Gorge. It was opened to traffic in 1923. Source: NZ Transport Agency