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Busy summer roadworks season for the West Coast

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While consistent summer weather may seem a little way off, the NZ Transport Agency has started its annual summer road maintenance programme on the South Island’s West Coast.

Transport Agency System Manager Pete Connors says the works programme has started with rebuilding, resurfacing, and other road maintenance work starting across the West Coast. 

“We’ll be delivering a huge amount of roadworks and project work within the West Coast region this season to improve the roads, increase safety and make people’s journeys more enjoyable.  The resurfacing work in particular will improve conditions, and make the roads safer for everyone. That work will start shortly. 

“We ask people to build in extra time as some of these sites will add an extra five minutes to their journeys and on some routes, for example, between Greymouth and Westport, there may be two or three of these work sites to get through. There will also be highway repair sites in South Westland.” 

Between Franz Josef and Fox Glacier townships, new safety projects include the construction of new passing bays. 

Gates of Haast

Work is well underway at the Gates of Haast, building up the area under the road, near the Haast River, and requiring traffic lights for at least another 12 months at highway level to allow drivers safe access in each direction.

Mr Connors says warmer spring and summer months are the best time for road resurfacing as daylight hours are longer and the warm temperatures and dry air help the new seal stick to the road surface. 

“We encourage everyone to be aware of road workers and to comply with temporary speed restrictions through work sites to keep them safe,” he says. 

“Keeping your speed down  where sealing work is underway or has just been completed not only helps to settle in the new road surface, it will also prevent stone chips flying into windscreens and protect our crews from injuries.”   

Updates on specific work sites will be provided throughout the roadworks season, but road users can expect delays and continuing traffic light controlled one-way access at these places on State Highway 6, after the post-cyclonic February storms Fehi and Gita:

  • The Gates of Haast slip site
  • The Punakaiki slip site at Dolomite Point, just past the Pancake Rocks
  • The 17 Mile slip site, north of Greymouth. 

“While we will try to keep delays to a minimum, we urge people to be patient and plan their journeys to account for some delays from road works,” says Mr Connors.

Drivers can get real time information from:

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