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Delays on Waikato and Bay of Plenty state highways this month as roadworks continue


The NZ Transport Agency urges Waikato and Bay of Plenty motorists to leave extra time when travelling this month as work continues on major projects and roadworks.

Transport Agency work crews are out in force at the moment, making the most of the warmer, drier weather to maintain the state highways and progress projects such as the Waikato Expressway and Tauranga’s Maungatapu underpass.

Drivers are likely to encounter speed restrictions and other traffic management which may cause delays and should get in the habit of allowing extra time for their journeys.

People can get information on road works and detours in the region they are in, or travelling to by checking link), by calling 0800 444 449 or following the Transport Agency on Facebook or Twitter.

Bay of Plenty travellers can also go to link), a dedicated website that tells drivers what the current travel times are to get to key places.

Roadworks that are scheduled to start in the next week or are currently underway are detailed below to help people plan head when travelling: 


SH1 Waikato Expressway

Te Rapa Section

People travelling on the Te Rapa section of the expressway are urged to drive with care and expect changes to the road layout next week (March 21-23).  

Contractors will be trucking in tonnes of mulch which was burnt off in a recent fire on the Expressway berms.

The work to relocate the mulch will see:

  • Partial closure of the north-bound off-ramp at Koura Drive
  • Expressway traffic down to single lane through the works area
  • Stop/go traffic management at Koura Drive

In the event of wet weather the work will be done 30-31 March.

Ngaruawahia Section

Contractors are finishing up the line marking on the Ngaruawahia section of the expressway, with partial lane closures required.  

Hamilton and Huntly road resealing

Contractors will be sealing sections of the state highway network in Hamilton and Huntly early next week. Sites include Tainui Bridge Rd intersection with SH1 in Huntly, Lorne Street-Normandy Avenue and Normandy/Cobham Drive in Hamilton, at Telephone Road/Holland Road on the city outskirts.

The work will be carried out at night to reduce the impact to traffic however speed restrictions will be in place during daylight hours. The speed reduction allows the new seal to bed in and set.

SH1 Putaruru

Roadworks south of Putaruru from Monday 21 March may cause minor delays for SH1 travellers until mid-April. The works, between the rail overbridge and vehicle testing station south of Putaruru, will wrap up on 22 April. Contractors will be on site seven nights a week, with a day crew looking after dust control. Traffic will be managed through the site, and may encounter short delays.

SH31 Otorohanga

Roadworks on SH31 west of the Waipa River bridge and outside the primary school are under way for the next five weeks. Stop/go traffic management is in place and people should expect minor delays.

SH3, Hangatiki

Stop/go traffic management, a 50km/h speed restriction and lane closures are in place to allow contractors to carry out work near the Waitomo turnoff. The work is expected to be complete by 21 March.

SH3, Te Kuiti

Road reconstruction is under way near the Bosco Cafe in Te Kuiti. Motorists can expect some delays until 6 April as stop/go traffic control and temporary speed limits are in place.

SH1 Hamilton, Cobham Drive Bridge

Works to improve the surface of the bend on the western side of Cobham Bridge in Hamilton will be done overnight on 20 March.  Some delays will occur as people pass through the site.

SH23 Waitetuna

Five days of roadworks at the Waitetuna intersection on SH23 will start after Easter. Traffic will be managed through the site under speed restriction and stop-go so people may encounter short delays.

SH5 north of Taupo

Traffic may be disrupted by forestry work alongside SH5 at the Tahorakuri Forest on the Taupo to Rotorua road. Tree felling alongside the highway will see a 50km/h speed restriction in place, and at some times traffic down to a single lane and passing the area under stop-go. The maximum delay is five minutes.

SH1 Kahikatea Drive, Hamilton

Travellers on SH1 through Hamilton should be prepared for minor delays as work is under way to install traffic lights at the Kahikatea Drive and Gallagher Drive intersection.  A speed restriction and traffic management is in place until mid-year when the project will be complete.   

SH3 Ohaupo Road, Hamilton

Work is well under way on the shared path for cyclists and pedestrians alongside on SH3 in Hamilton. The $2 million project will see a 3.5km shared path on SH3 Ohaupo Road. The path will be finished in April but two signalised pedestrian crossings at Normandy Avenue shops will be installed by mid-year.

SH3/SH21 Hamilton Airport turn-off

Motorists can expect occasional minor delays while work continues on a roundabout at the intersection. It is being built away from traffic and will be completed in May.

Bay of Plenty

SH29A Maungatapu underpass

This Sunday 20 March the project will tick off a significant milestone with the installation of the bridge beams on the western bridge. Traffic management will be in place from 5am through to 3pm with the closure of one lane at the Maungatapu roundabout. This will only affect drivers heading towards either Maungatapu or Mount Maunganui. Minor delays can be expected. The work is weather dependent. 

SH36  between Rotorua and Tauranga

Motorists travelling between Tauranga and Rotorua on SH36 are advised to expect delays during March as contractors carry out rockfall prevention work in the Mangorewa Gorge.

Speed restrictions and traffic lights will be in place at times from until the end of March. Please allow an extra 10 minutes for your journey.

In addition, a reseal is planned next week near the one lane bridge at Mangapouri. This work is weather dependent but is currently scheduled for Tuesday.

SH36 Tautau Bridge (just south of Pyes Pa School)

Speed restrictions will be in place at times from February 26 until April 30 while contractors carry out works on the bridge. Motorists are advised to drive with extra care in the area and expect minor delays.

Rotorua area

Roadworks and reseals will be underway on a number of state highway sites around Rotorua over the next week.

Lane closures and stop/go traffic management will be in place at time and motorists are advised to allow an extra 10 minutes when travelling around the district.

Work sites where delays should be expected include:

  • SH30 Lake Rotoma
  • SH36 Mangapouri (near the single lane bridge)

SH2 between Tauranga and Waihi

Motorists travelling on SH2 between Tauranga and Waihi are urged to drive with extra care as work continues on a major safety upgrade.

A section of highway between Wainui South Road and Sargent Drive is being repaired and widened, and a wire rope central median barrier installed to prevent head on crashes.

People should only expect minor delays but are urged to stay alert behind the wheel as there will be significant changes including lane closures, speed restrictions and occasional stop/go traffic management.

Te Puke Highway

Motorists using the Te Puke Highway during March are advised to allow extra time when travelling as road reconstruction work is expected to cause delays.

Contractors are digging up and removing the old road and replacing it with new pavement before sealing and roadmarking.