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Sunday start for $4.5m upgrade to port access

Work begins on Sunday on the $4.5m upgrade of Gisborne’s port access, part of the Provincial Growth Fund’s massive $137 million roading package for Gisborne.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones first announced the package in September last year and yesterday confirmed work, fully-funded from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), would start to upgrade the road to Eastland Port as part of that package.

'Port road upgrade to bring a wealth of benefits'“This project to upgrade Gisborne’s port road will bring a wealth of benefits to the Tairawhiti region,” Mr Jones said.

“Since the road opened in 2008, high traffic volumes have led to significant deterioration and high maintenance costs.

“As the region’s key link to Eastland Port, Rakaiatane Road must be able to support increasing freight volumes, and current and future demands stemming from intensified economic activity.

“That’s why the Government is investing to improve the safety and resilience of this critical road,” Mr Jones said.

The upgrade will include a new road layout with two courtesy crossings, improved lighting and extra car parks for visitors to Titirangi Kaiti Hill and the Cook Landing Site – Puhi Kai Iti. The existing stormwater system has been modified to improve the quality of storm water running into the inner harbour.

“This investment will support a more efficient and reliable road network in Tairawhiti that provides better connections between people and markets, and supports local businesses to thrive,” Mr Jones said.

Construction work starts on Sunday.

Resurfacing contract to get 24/7 attention during first weekA Gisborne District Council spokesman said contractors would work 24 hours a day during the first week to remove and replace the road surface from the Eastland Port’s C3 gate to the intersection with Crawford Road.

“The council has worked closely with Eastland Port to minimise disruption to port activities during this period. Residents of Kaiti Beach have been updated at each of the planning stages.”

Hirini Street will be closed for up to five days.

During the second part of the project from June 17 to 21, Hirini Street will be closed from the intersection by the Mobil service station to Crawford Road. Contractors will replace the road surface between 7am and 7pm. All traffic including logging trucks will be diverted down Crawford Road.

Section of De Lautour Road closed for five daysThe section of De Lautour Road between Wainui Road (SH35) and Rutene Road will be closed for five days from June 17 to 21, depending on the weather.

“This is necessary to ease congestion along Wainui Road. Residents will still be able to access their properties, but only from Rutene Road,” the council spokesman said.

“Stop/go traffic control will be in place on SH35 (Wainui Road) during this period to manage congestion. Drivers can expect delays of up to 10 minutes and should take alternative routes wherever possible.”

The $137m PGF roading package is intended to help unlock economic potential through stronger, safer and more resilient transport connections and will involve more than a dozen projects across the region’s roads.

A spokesman from the Provincial Development Unit, the body set up to administer the PGF, said a contract had been executed between the unit and the Gisborne District Council to deliver on the Tairawhiti roading package.

“We look forward to the delivery of these projects in the coming weeks and months.”

Shane Jones