Transit Regional Office
20 December, 2006
Sod turning marks start of construction for New Plymouth’s Bell Block Bypass
Transit New Zealand today marked the start of construction for New Plymouth’s $13.3M Bell Block Bypass project which
will improve road safety and traffic flows to other major centres.
“Improving this thoroughfare is of national significance for travel in this region to other towns and cities,” says
Transit Wanganui regional manager Errol Christiansen.
“We’re pleased to be able to begin construction as this project has been rated number one for the region and has had
strong community advocacy,” he says.
Transit was joined by Transport Safety Minister Hon Harry Duynhoven, Taranaki Regional Council Chair David Walters, New
Plymouth Mayor Peter Tennant and others from the community at Henwood Rd for the turning of the first sod.
Bell Block Bypass is specially designed to separate the through traffic from the fast developing Bell Block development.
It also includes the widening of the highway up Mangaone Hill to four lanes and will enable vehicles to travel safely at
100km/h uninterrupted, immediately after the 50km/h zone on the northern outskirts of the city.
“Strong growth at Bell Block is predicted to continue, particularly in the industrial area. Four lanes with a grade
separated interchange are the best solution to accommodate this growth,” Mr Christiansen says.
A significant feature of the project is a full diamond interchange at Henwood Road which allows for a single direct
access to Bell Block township.
Transit is working with the New Plymouth District Council to integrate the local roading network with the upgraded
section of highway. The aim is to manage safety issues for access roads in the rapidly developing residential and
industrial areas beyond Bell Block.
Transit New Zealand awarded the contract for the construction of the Bell Block Bypass to Whitaker Civil Engineering
Construction is scheduled for completion in mid 2010.