Lack of funds approval for the upgrade of the Pahiatua-Palmerston North route (Pahiatua Track)
The NZ Transport Agency has indicated an upgrade of Manawatu Gorge alternative route(s) will be completed by 2014/15. This may or may not include the Pahiatua Track. As a result of this upgrade, further funds for the Pahiatua Track upgrade (if not completed as part of the alternative route upgrade) are unlikely to be available in the next five years as a major project. However work is undertaken when funds are available to undertake smaller Minor Safety Projects. Several projects has been undertaken to improve intersections/corners and passing lanes to allow for better safety of the travelling public.
Future reliability of the Manawatu Gorge (SH3)
Continued closures will shift traffic onto roads not designed or built for heavy or significant traffic. Work is also currently being planned to undertake Pavement strengthening and construction of passing bays on the Saddle Road. This is stiil awaiting funding approval from NZTA but is likely to be undertaken in the 2013-14 financial year.
Current Roading Projects
Work is undertaken annually to renew existing roading pavements. This is undertaken in several stages with the first being the resealing of existing sealed roads. Currently 90km of roads are resealed annually to give a seal life of 16 years. Following on from several reseals, the pavement is then given a complete rebuild to either completely digout and replace, or to overlay metal over the existing pavement and then seal the surface. There is 10km of sealed roads that have Pavement Rehabilitation undertaken annually.
For the unsealed sections of roads, Heavy Metal Overlays are undertaken of weaker pavement sections. This involves overlaying the existing metal road with a greater depth of metal, and surface is shaped with a Grader and compacted. Annually 10-20 km of unsealed pavements have Heavy Metal Overlays undertaken.
For Minor Capital works projects, Minor Improvement Projects are undertaken up to the value of $ 250,000 per site. This can be work on intersection improvements /corner improvements or Sight Benching to give greater sight distances around corners. Annually, our budget for this is $ 500,000.