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Giant loads due at Te Uku wind farm

The first shipment of massive turbine blades and tower sections for the Te Uku wind farm is due to arrive at the Auckland wharves next week, though it is still too early to say when road transportation to the Wharauroa Plateau will begin.

Each turbine blade is 49 metres long and weighs 10.5 tonnes, while the towers will be 80 metres high, and weigh 170 tonnes each.

Once unloaded the components will be taken by truck to the wind farm site over the next three months.

Wind farm project manager Robert Batters said things such as the weather would determine the schedule for road transportation.

“Because of this we can’t say exactly what day the first trucks are expected to arrive in Te Uku, but we will be carefully managing the transportation of the turbine components and keeping the community informed as and when information comes available,” he said.

“Our aim is to cause as little inconvenience to local people as possible.”

The biggest disturbance to traffic will come when the trucks travel over the Raglan Deviation.

This will be done outside of peak commuter times, with trucks due to arrive at the deviation no earlier than 9am, Mr Batters said.

Traffic will be stopped for 10-15 minutes at a time as trucks then make their way over the hills to the wind farm site.

Turbines will be transported over the deviation during the daytime, primarily on weekdays.

“We will not be transporting in foggy conditions or bad weather, which means if we have experienced prolonged weather delays trucks may be in the area on the occasional Sat-urday.

“We will not be transporting on Sundays, public holidays or at night.”

Three large turbine components will be freighted from Auckland each day, travelling along State Highway 1 before turning on to Horotiu Rd, Te Kowhai Rd and State Highway 23.

Trucks will then travel along Te Mata Rd, with traffic being stopped for up to 10 minutes on Kawhia Rd from the Te Mata Rd turnoff to the wind farm site.

An information line has been set up to ensure people can get daily updates about truck movements in the area, Ph 0800 Te Uku Wind (0800838589).

The first turbine is scheduled to be generating power in December, with all 28 operational by April.