Works will resume early on some NZ Transport Agency construction projects during the Christmas/New Year holiday break and the NZTA is asking people to drive with care through construction zones for their safety and the safety of workers on site.
Construction in Auckland and Northland will generally stop on Christmas Eve [Friday, 24 December] until Monday, 10 January, but the break will be shorter on some projects in both regions as contractors take advantage of lower traffic volumes to complete essential works.
Sites where care will be needed are the Victoria Park Tunnel and Newmarket Connection Viaduct Replacement projects, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the SH20/1 Motorway Connection project in Manukau, and Stage 2 of the Kamo by-pass on State Highway 1 in Whangarei.
“While we stop most work so traffic can keep flowing smoothly, the need to have only a short break on these sites reflects the huge investment to improve the state highway network in both regions,” says the NZTA’s Regional Director for Auckland and Northland, Stephen Town. “We will do our very best to prevent congestion around all sites, but people need to plan for closures and speed restrictions and allow more time for a safe journey.”
Essential works over Christmas/New Year include:-
Auckland Harbour Bridge: Both lanes of southbound clip-on and Shelly Bay Road off ramp closed for re-surfacing [26 December/5 January]
Victoria Park Tunnel: Cook Street off-ramp, Union Street, southbound motorway lane 1 from Auckland Harbour Bridge to Fanshawe Street – all closed [26 December/5 January]
Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement Project: Extended overnight closures of three southbound and one northbound lane on Southern Motorway between Market Road and Greenlane interchange for safety improvements [2, 3, 4 January] Southbound detours in place
SH20/1 Motorway Connection: Completing connecting link between Roscommon and Puhunui Roads [29, 30, 31 December].
Kamo by-pass [stage 2], SH1 Whangarei: Work on retaining walls and drainage resumes between Christmas and New Year. Traffic will not be affected, but care will still be needed.
“People should drive to the conditions and expect the unexpected - changes to the layout of the road, speed restrictions or closures,” says Mr Town. “Auckland’s motorway network, in particular, can be busy in places because of sports events and post-Christmas sales in the central city and suburban malls.”
People should also drive with care at other construction sites on the State Highway network:-
SH16, Taupaki roundabout [Kumeu] 50kph speed limit, new road alignment; work continues off-road on some days in the holiday.
SH16, Punganui Bridge [ Helensville]: 50kph speed restriction; construction zone
SH10, Bulls Gorge: speed restrictions - 50kph through gorge, 70kph on approaches
SH1, Old North Road [Whakepara]: 80kph speed limit
SH1, Mountain Rd improvements, Kaiwaka: 80kph speed limit; work away from highway resumes 3 January
Mr Town says all highways in Auckland and Northland will be busy during the Christmas/New Year period, and the NZTA will be working with the Police, the Ministry of Transport and ACC to keep them safe.
People can get up to date information about traffic conditions from roadside electronic message boards, calling 0800 444449, or at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions/highway-info/(external link)
Tools to help plan a journey that is safe and enjoyable is available at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/info/around-nz/holidays/html(external link)
“Our priority is to do everything we can to help people get to their holiday destinations easily, smoothly and safely,” says Mr Town.