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Major Chapel St upgrade

A major rehabilitation and reconstruction project for Masterton’s Chapel St SH2 that’s scheduled to take more than seven weeks will reduce future disruptions for maintenance, NZTA Waka Kotahi says.

The upgrade work has finally been rescheduled after being postponed last year due to poor weather conditions, and is set to commence on April 21 and run through to June 5, with the final two weeks allocated as contingency days.

Two sections of Chapel St will undergo the rehabilitation works, one lane at a time, and will run from 9pm to 4am to reduce disruptions for drivers and businesses.

Contractors will work on Chapel St between Jackson St and Lincoln Rd roundabout before moving to Chapel St between Michael and Russel streets, and lanes will remain closed during the days as the “deep lift” isn’t suitable for cars to drive across.

Water infrastructure under the road surface is not clearly mapped out so CityCare will be on hand as a precaution while work is underway.

Wellington Transport Alliance manager Roxanne Hilliard told the Times-Age the work will also allow water infrastructure to be mapped for any future work that’s needed and will be added to utility and asset data.

Hilliard said the condition of the road justifies a full rehabilitation and reconstruction, with the new road lifespan expected to be between 20 and 25 years, with a quick, one night reseal potentially needed after 10 to 12 years.

“Contractors will excavate to a depth of about 400mm and lay a new structural asphalt base,” Hilliard said.

Structural asphalt was chosen – despite being more expensive than alternatives – because it is less susceptible to poor weather conditions and is expected to last longer.

NZTA has approached businesses and Masterton District Council [MDC] about the roadworks and Hilliard said there hasn’t been any pushback.

“People use the road, and they know it needs to be done”.

Businesses will continue to have access to properties although this may only be pedestrian access at times.

The roundabout on Lincoln Rd will also be resealed as part of the works, including the Chorus cover that sits in the middle of the roundabout, which has sunk.

Structural asphalt will reduce the number of potholes that need to be repaired during winter maintenance.

“The structural asphalt will be built up in three layers, with the final asphalt road surface over the top,” Hilliard said.

“It’ll make the road much stronger and less prone to potholes and traffic damage.”

A test section of the road infrastructure has been taken and the geography of the road and ground beneath analysed, as understanding the material beneath the thoroughfare means a more stable road can be built.

Hilliard said the work is seen as an investment in Chapel St that will be cheaper in the long run than coming back each year to fix potholes or other issues on the road.

NZTA spoke to emergency services and assured them they will have access if needed as one lane will remain open.

On average, 16,500 vehicles travel Chapel St each day.

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