Cromwell highway detour as water pipe installed

by Kim Bowden - May 27, 2024

A stretch of highway underneath Cromwell's big fruit statue will become one-way only for approximately six weeks as work continues to upgrade the town's water supply.

State Highway 8B from the Nicol's roundabout to the entrance of the new Wooing Tree Estate will be westbound-only from Tuesday, June 4.

The closure of the eastbound lane is to allow for the installation of a 630-millimetre water pipe alongside the highway that will link the lakeside bore field near the Alpha Street Reserve to the water reservoir up a hill above the Scott Base cellar door off State Highway 6 on McNab Road.

The east-bound lane on State Highway 8B will be closed from Tuesday, June 4 until Friday, July 12.

During this time, traffic heading towards Cromwell from State Highway 6 will be detoured along Shortcut Road.

"Traffic management will be in place during the pipe installation," the Central Otago District Council says in a statement today providing an update on the work.

"People are asked to take care and follow the signage."

The work is part of stage one of a $6.4 million project to ensure the town's water supply is compliant with national rules.

While stage one of the project focuses on the pipe - a rising main that will convey water under pressure from a pumping station - stage two will see the construction of a new water treatment plant at the reservoir site and an upgrade of the bores.

The council says the work will "increase capacity and meet the needs of the rapidly growing population".

The highway work is expected to be finished by July 12, when the detour will be removed, while the wider project is due to wind up by spring.

The work has been contracted to HEB Construction Ltd.

Some local residents have taken to social media to voice their frustration as they've watched the highway verge be dug up in preparation for the pipe work so soon after roading upgrades in the same area were completed by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Some only recently-established earth bunds and plantings have been removed to accommodate the new pipe.

During the NZTA-led project, to install two roundabouts on the stretch of highway - the first at the intersection of State Highways 6 and 8B and the second at the intersection of State Highway 8B and the new Wooing Tree Avenue - numerous detours via Shortcut Road, and Barry Avenue and McNulty Road, were in place.

Main image (Google): The work is part of stage one of a $6.4 million project to ensure the town's water supply is compliant with national rules.

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