Children from Golden Sands School were thrilled to take a peak behind the scenes at the Pāpāmoa East Interchange work site last week. Learning about construction and site safety, the 20 primary school students were excited to have a look around, and even take a seat in some of the construction machinery.
The site visit, organised by Tauranga City Council, gave the students, parents and teachers an understanding of what’s involved in a project of this size and scale. The team from HEB Construction – the contractor responsible for the current phase of work – showed the group around and loved being able to inspire young engineering minds.
Chris Barton, Project Delivery Manager at Tauranga City Council, said it was a pleasure to invite students from Golden Sands School to see the Pāpāmoa East Interchange construction site in action. “We hope they took away an understanding of what is involved in building a new interchange and everything that supports it, such as extending Te Okuroa Drive, the new intersection and stormwater management infrastructure.”
HEB Project Manager for the Pāpāmoa East Interchange, Duncan Alberts said his team enjoyed hosting the students on site. “Not only do we get an opportunity to encourage some budding engineers, we help students understand that construction and health and safety go hand in hand.”
Together with their teacher, students made their own designs for an interchange ahead of the visit. Duncan said his team was impressed with the thinking behind the kids’ designs and the questions they had.
“We’re aiming to bring local schools along on the construction journey. To allow progressive learning, the same group of students will be invited back on site during the construction of the interchange later next year, as well as at the opening of the interchange in 2026.”
A comment from one of the students at the conclusion of the visit expressed a solid endorsement of the work done so far. His verdict? “This is awesome.”
Construction of the Pāpāmoa East Interchange started in June 2022 and is expected to conclude mid 2026. Currently in its second phase, the successful contractor for the third and final phase - which includes the interchange, will be announced prior to this Christmas.
More about the Pāpāmoa East Interchange project is available at letstalktauranga.co.nz/pei