State Highway 29A in Tauranga is set to reopen tomorrow morning with contractors working overnight to fix a large hole beneath the road.
The 4m deep, 4m wide and 11m long cavity was discovered last Friday in the left-hand lane heading from Barkes Corner to Oropi Roundabout.
Waka Kotahi said the hole was caused by a stormwater drain failing which likely occurred “some time ago”. It said water leaking out eroded the land under the road.
Acting manager of maintenance and operations in the Bay of Plenty Roger Brady said its contractors have had to dig up the whole road to replace 38m of stormwater pipe.
“We’ve backfilled the trench and we’re now in the process of building the road back up,” he said.
“Our team will continue to work into the night to get the road open to traffic by tomorrow morning’s peak.”
The transport agency said traffic management would be in place and there would be a reduced speed limit of 50km/h.
However, Brady said the road would be fully closed on Wednesday and Thursday night for workers to lay more pipe at either end, install manholes and connections and reinstate the excavated areas alongside the road.
He thanked Tauranga road users for heeding warnings about expected traffic congestion.
“We suggested road users avoid travelling this morning, work from home or use alternative transport if they could — and they listened.
“We wanted to ensure that anyone who absolutely had to travel could get through without extended delays. In the end there were around 20-minute delays at SH29A, which is similar to regular weekday peak hour delays,” Brady said.
To help ease the pressure on the network, Waka Kotahi rescheduled the planned chip sealing of State Highway 2 between Ōmokoroa and Bethlehem last night and tonight to ease congestion coming into the city.