Desert Road closure well utilised


Last week’s two-day closure of the Desert Road section of State Highway 1 proved fortunate timing, with fine weather allowing a significant amount of work to be completed.

contractors pouring bitumen on the road

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency appreciates the understanding of local communities and road users affected by the closure, says Cara Lauder, Waikato System Manager, Maintenance and Operations.

“We know that road closures are disruptive, especially at short notice, however this allowed us to complete all of the urgent surfacing work we had planned, plus a significant number of other activities.

“Closing the road enabled us to have a significant number of people working in the area, with a high degree of safety. This meant that as well as 4500m2 of asphalt being laid, the team also cleared 1450m of roadside drains, 3000m of road shoulder was maintained and a number of barriers and signs were repaired or replaced.

“All up this is a significant effort and means that our routine maintenance requirements along the Desert Road are reduced for the remainder of winter. This directly benefits drivers, who will have their journeys disrupted less often.

“We have a significant summer programme of road rebuilding and resealing ahead, not just on the Desert Road but across the entire Waikato region, and we’re aware that we need to plan our works to minimise disruption as much as possible,” says Ms Lauder.

This season, which commences in October, will see over 35 lane kilometres of chipseal and asphalt surfacing applied on the Desert Road, and we’ll be completely rebuilding nearly 2 lane kilometres of road.

Across the Waikato region over 450 lane kilometres of road will be either rebuilt or resealed, accounting for over 8% of the region’s network.