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A still from the computer-generated flythrough of the indicative route for the new SH3 Manawatu Gorge bypass

First look at the Manawatu Gorge replacement route

The NZ Transport Agency has released a computer-generated look at the indicative route for the new State Highway 3 replacement for the Manawatu Gorge.


While a final design hasn’t yet been confirmed, the NZ Transport Agency’s Manawatu Gorge project manager Lonnie Dalzell says the indicative route sees the new road run from near the western entry of the closed SH3 gorge route, cross the Ruahine Ranges north of the gorge, and reconnect to SH3 at Woodville.

“It provides a visualisation which gives people an idea where the road will go over the Ruahine Ranges and a feel for what it might look like,” Mr Dalzell says. 

“Great progress is being made on the new road. As well as this sneak peek, the project team has recently completed geotechnical investigations along the proposed corridor of the replacement route.”

Core samples 

Mr Dalzell says the project’s full name, Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatu Gorge Replacement Route Project, recognises the spiritual, cultural and historical significance of the land near where work has been taking place high in the Ruahine Ranges. 

Crews used two portable geotechnical rigs to take the core samples. In some locations, the rigs had to be transported in by helicopter as the sites couldn’t safely be accessed by heavy vehicles. 

Crews used two portable geotechnical rigs to take core samples from a number of locations along the preferred corridor of the new route

“A total of 15 boreholes – the deepest being 50 m – yielded 530 m of core samples which have now been sent to the lab for testing,” Mr Dalzell says. “This is an important part of the investigation process – the samples will be used to get a better understanding of the geology of the area, and this information will help inform the detailed design process.”

Watch a video of the flythrough here

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