Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Highway Roadworks

Back in March I mentioned that the highway at the end of our road was going to be subjected to major roadworks involving the straightening of a dangerous bend and the construction of a new bridge.
Work was planned to take until July 2016 at a cost of $21million.
We were expecting major disruption and hold ups.
However, things have been surprisingly good.
They quickly installed a temporary two lane bridge next to the construction site of the new one and had traffic controllers placed along the route. The highway was subjected to 60 and 40km/hr speed limits depending on the work being done. We got to know the 'paddle pop' men quite well with our comings and goings and they were always there to get us in and out of the traffic as quickly as possible. I think the longest we sat waiting was around 10 minutes.

The old bridge was demolished and the new one went up in record time. We were the fourth one across it a few weeks ago. The construction crew were all lined up taking pictures and waving as the first line of cars went over. We responded with thumbs up and a few honks of the horn. They have already dismantled the temporary bridge.
The cutting that bypasses the curve is taking longer. Apparently they hit a bed of blue metal (basalt) that was undetected at the planning stage. This has necessitated some blasting and plenty of big excavator-mounted hydraulic jack hammering machines.
So all should be good for the increased traffic over the Christmas/Summer holiday period when our population swells to four times the normal. There will be the usual hold ups so it will be very early trips for us into town to the supermarket etc. over the next five weeks.
The construction company left a nice Christmas card in our mail box together with an aerial picture of the site. All the neighbours agree they have done a great PR job on us so far.

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