Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says traffic will be driving through the Loop Road roundabout on State Highway 1 south of Whangarei by the end of the month, weather permitting.
“The roundabout will just be a single lane as the completion of the full two-lane roundabout is still at least a year away. However, it will be a significant change for motorists that will improve traffic flow and peak time congestion through the area,” says Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray.
“Before we open the roundabout to traffic, we still have a lot of work to do that is weather dependent. This includes asphalting the roundabout approaches. To lay asphalt we need warm dry conditions over the next two weeks.”
Work will start after the morning commuter peak on Tuesday, 8 September, with changes to where State Highway 15 intersects with SH1 on the southern side of the roundabout. There will still be a “T” intersection but SH15 will be on a new alignment built alongside the current road.
Before SH15 traffic is switched on to that new alignment, there will be new asphalt laid and the temporary guardrail and mobile safety barriers will be moved.
“The changes will mean trucks making a right hand turn on to SH1 will have a tighter turn than before.”
“We ask truck drivers to go slowly and for northbound motorists to allow them as much space as possible to make the turn safely.”
There will be a temporary speed limit of 30km/hr at the Loop Road intersection during the day on Tuesday as road crews work close to live traffic lanes. During night works on Tuesday, there will also be a temporary speed limit of 30km/hr, with periods of stop/go traffic management on both SH15 and SH1 at Loop Road.
“We ask motorists to slow down, keep to the temporary speed limits and watch out for our crews on the roadside. Safety is our priority and we want everyone to get home safely.”
This temporary intersection layout will remain in place for approximately two weeks until the asphalting and work to connect SH1 and SH15 to the new roundabout is completed. Traffic will then move on to the new single lane alignment through the roundabout.
“The construction team is excited to be nearing this milestone in the project. It’s very difficult to build new structures in a busy traffic environment. We appreciate the patience and understanding of motorists, especially those who commute through our work site daily, as we work to significantly improve the safety, efficiency and resilience of this section of SH1.”
Motorists have been using a temporary road past the Loop Rd intersection with SH1 while the new two-lane roundabout is built. The roundabout is part of a wider project to upgrade SH1 and the Portland Road intersection further south to improve safety and access for road users.
The intersections are on inland freight route for logging trucks heading to and from Northport at Marsden Point and 19,000 vehicles use this section of SH1 every day.
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