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Water / November 12, 2020

Bay of Plenty

Main Trunk Pipelines No.1 Road Partial Road Closure 

Drill Shot Two

Having explored and exhausted all alternatives, unfortunately the drill shot to lay the final 500m of water main will have implications for traffic on No 1 Road. The work will involve closing one lane between #31 No 1 Road and the intersection with Te Puke Highway, from 2 February to 8 March 2021. This means no traffic will be able to exit No1 Road onto Te Puke Highway while the diversion is in place.

  • All traffic including residents, can only travel up No 1 Road and down No 2 Road to get to Te Puke during the works.
  • Together with our designers and contractor, we have explored a range of different options to undertake these works with a view to minimizing any disruption as well as managing long term risks and requirements for the lifespan of the pipeline.
  • Having weighed up all options, the solution that provides the best balance for all involves closing one lane of No 1 Road for up to five weeks.
  • This means No 1 road will be closed to traffic heading down the road to the north, from #31 No 1 Road to the Te Puke Highway intersection, between 2 February and 8 March 2021.
  • The method selected provides the shortest duration of disruption, now and in future.
  • The timing will enable us to avoid the kiwifruit harvest period.
  • All traffic will need to go out of No 1 Road via No 2 Road, adding approximately 15-20 minutes extra travel time for drivers.

Summary – Project Design

  • We have got to the last drill shot for the pipeline, without having closed sections of No 1 Road due to choice of construction method.
  • Smythe Contractors, the designers and Tauranga City Council staff have been investigating the best options with the least disruption to the wider community, while considering the longer term risks across the 100 year life of the pipeline for the last three months.
  • Initially we hoped to have the pipe lower in the ground so traffic could still drive over the drill area, however, this would make future repair in the event of a failure very difficult and time consuming. A failure would almost certainly result in the entire road being fully closed for the duration of the repair, the deeper the pipe the longer it would take to repair.

Summary – Traffic Implications

  • We realise this will be disruptive for many people and businesses, but our exploration of all the alternate options has identified this as the best outcome for community, project and long term operations of the pipeline.
  • A two way stop/go system was considered but was determined it would be unsafe to have traffic queueing in the shoulder of Te Puke Highway to turn left into No 1 Road and queuing over the borehole and along Te Puke Highway for traffic turning right into No 1 Road.
  • Traffic heading into Te Puke from No 2 Road and on to Boucher Avenue will need to be careful as they will be driving through a 50km/hr area past a school to get back to the main road.
  • Tauranga City Council investigated upgrading any paper roads or use of farm tracks and land between No 1 Road and No 2 Road, however, none of them were in good enough condition to enable this and presented significant health & safety risks.
  • Evolution Traffic Management Ltd are responsible for traffic management and will have someone on site 24 hours per day.
  • Anyone with health needs or emergency response workers are asked to contact us to ensure we can create a safety access plan.
  • We understand this is an area where traffic has already been under pressure. This construction work is fundamental to the future water supply for the Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga. We appreciate people’s patience while work is taking place.
  • Once this drill shot is completed, most of the works on No 1 Road will be finished and traffic management will be in short 30km/h zones around the open drill pits.

Drillshot 2 Options
Below are options we looked at to reduce the impact on the public and the reasons why they were not implemented.

Install temporary traffic diversion through Murray Salt’s property: Entry to track would be steep and exposes users to a high risk of incident. Exposes TCC and landowner to possible prosecution if an incident occurs.

Divert residential traffic through orchard via Norm Freeman Drive: Track could be constructed on more level ground however TCC and land owner would still be exposed to risk should a vehicle incident occur.

Install pipe at a greater depth (there would be more ground cover over the bore hole which would enable traffic to drive over it, so there would be no need for the lane closure): If the pipe breaks, it will need to be repaired within 3-4 days to maintain continuity of supply to residents. A significant amount of effort was put into investigating options of repairing the pipe if it was installed at a greater depth. The outcome was that there is currently no reliable option for repair within the 3-4 day timeframe if the pipe was installed at a greater depth.

The entire pipeline has been installed at a depth of approximately 4m for this reason.

Install the pipe under the footpath instead of in the road corridor: Unfortunately there are too many existing services underneath the footpath.

Run a 24 hour operation to get the pipe installed faster: The machinery required for installing the pipe is likely to be very disruptive to residents should it run through the night. There are also additional H&S and quality risks with night works.

Redesign pipeline to have two smaller pipes: This option would increase duration of disruption as the procedure would be performed twice, but extent of disruption during the works would be marginally less. It would also require significant redesign of the Waiari water pipeline and push works into the kiwifruit harvest season. Provides a suboptimal pipeline for operations to manage for the next 100 years.

Use a stop/go system to enable traffic to travel both ways on No.1 Road: This option is not workable as the traffic turning into No.1 Rd will back-up on the highway while waiting for the traffic coming down No.1 Rd. This option would create significant safety risks to road users.

 

Surface Water Levels

The majority of surface water levels throughout the Bay of Plenty haven’t recovered since one of the worst droughts the region has seen was declared earlier in the year. Bay of Plenty Regional Council (council) are monitoring surface water flows and have been engaging with the industry on the potential for water restrictions to be imposed. The region is currently at level one of a three stage water shortage event.

Click here to view a dedicated Council webpage containing information related dry weather water management which contains valuable resources for Growers.

Soil moisture map: click here
Regional stream flows map: click here
Regional rainfall map: click here

The week of 9 November 2020 saw a significant amount of rainfall across the region which will provide temporary relief to soil moisture deficits and will temporarily increase stream flows however it is likely with expected warm conditions and low rainfall that soil moisture and surface water levels will continue to be a challenge across the Bay of Plenty. Growers are encouraged to be efficient with irrigation and to invest in water storage if practical. You can read more about water storage here.