Navigating road works between Warkworth and Wellsford through Dome Valley looks set to be part of the journey for some months yet, as Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency continues with upgrades through the high accident area.
Stage two, closest to Warkworth, has been finished, as has stage four in the northern part of the Dome, between Wayby Valley Road and Forestry Road.
Around 65 per cent of the work in stage three, between Forestry Road and Waiwhiu Road, is complete.
This includes future-proofing for Vector by installing three kilometres of ducting underneath the new pavement between Frog Pool Farm and Falls Bridge.
Waka Kotahi is now widening the southbound shoulder with 200 metres of kerb and pipes still to be installed between Waitaraire Stream and Falls Bridge. Once this is complete, chip seal surfacing and line-marking can be carried out, along with the installation of wire safety barriers.
Stage five is also around 65 per cent complete with the road northbound of L Phillips Road to Waiwhiu Road having been widened.
A soil nail wall – a retaining wall reinforced by grouted, tension-resisting steel nails – is well on the way to completion. This is located about 250 metres south of the Dome Valley lookout. These soil nail walls are used to stabilise natural soil slopes, which is important for a route like Dome Valley that is surrounded by high hilltops, Waka Kotahi says.
The Sheepworld culvert has also been extended to widen the highway. This new culvert extension allows greater capacity for its drainage pipes, minimising the risk of flooding in the area.
A retaining wall and wing walls have been built to prevent erosion. Rock areas have also been put in place along the roadside and around the culvert as further erosion protection measures.
Stage 1, the final section just south of Wellsford, is currently on hold for rescoping after there were problems with the original design with geotechnical and property access problems. This stage is being redesigned to use the existing road.