BIGGEST IN N.Z
Improvements at Stoney Creek, on the Napier-Taupo highway, have been largely overshadowed by the magnitude of the Titiokura and Runanga deviations. Stoney Creek will, however, be the scene of the next new section of highway to be used by motorists.
The Titiokura deviation is completed. The Runanga deviation, on which work has already started, will not be opened to traffic inside three years.
Stoney Creek, a short distance on the Napier side of Tarawera, is now a hive of activity as the contractor, Downer and Co. Ltd., pushes ahead with a three-quarter mile diversion.
The creek itself was last week diverted through a massive 22ft diameter steel culvert – the biggest of its kind in New Zealand, and probably in the southern hemisphere.
The project involves 300,000 cubic yards of earthworks and the new road level will be 52 feet higher than the creek-bed.
Mr R. D. Grant, Ministry of Works resident engineer at Napier, said today that the Stoney Creek work was going ahead well.
“Traffic should be using it this Summer,” he said. “Sealing should be well under way by Christmas.”
To close the gap between Downer’s work at Stoney Creek and the Tarawera camp, the existing road will be strengthened and sealed “as is.”
Grades will be of the order of one in 10 (slightly steeper than the Titiokura deviation) and the alignment will be comfortable for speeds of 35 to 40 m.p.h.
Photo caption – STONEY CREEK trickles into the mouth of the massive steel culvert which has been completed in the Napier-Taupo road. The creek was diverted last week from its original bed which the bulldozer (right) is filling in. The carry-all above the culvert is dumping material which will eventually rise to a level of 52 feet above the creek bed.