The last stage of work on improvements to State Highway 1 at Kensington Avenue, Whangarei is due to start soon so that all lanes can be opened and the new roundabout fully functional by Christmas.
The NZ Transport Agency will be carrying out work on the road surface from Russell Road including the roundabout at Kensington Avenue intersection starting this Sunday, 4 December.
State Highway 1 Western Hills Drive will be reduced to one lane each night for two weeks starting from 6pm. The state highway will be reopened to two lanes from 7am each morning.
The Kensington Avenue intersection will be closed to all traffic during the same time period.
The work is scheduled to be finished by 21 December, depending on fine weather.
The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to allow more time for their journey while the work which will improve journey reliability, road safety and freight efficiency through Whangarei is carried out.
'When this surfacing work is finished we can start opening lanes and turning movements and will mean the roundabout is fully operational ahead of the busy traffic flows expected over the holiday period,' says the Transport Agency’s Northland Highway Manager, Brett Gliddon.
'This upgrade will improve safety for road users and reduce traffic queuing at the intersection at peak times as well as for road users and pedestrians accessing Kensington Park.'
'We’re looking forward to completing another one of the key improvement projects to give the Whangarei community and those driving through the city safer and easier access.'
Improvements to the SH1/Kensington Avenue intersection include a new roundabout and the installation of central median barriers on the state highway between Kensington Avenue and Manse Street.
The new roundabout will have a dedicated northbound lane to allow vehicles travelling north to continue without stopping. This will reduce traffic queues as well as minimising potential road noise from heavy vehicles stopping on the hill at the approach to the intersection.
Early next year work will be completed on a central median along the highway between Kensington Ave and Manse Street to address the existing high crash rate when vehicles cross the centre line.