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 last of the warm, dry 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 www.nzta.govt.nz/summerjourneys(external link) , by calling 0800 444 449 or following the Transport Agency on Facebook or Twitter.
Bay of Plenty travellers can also go to www.drivelive.nz/BayofPlenty(external 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 ahead when travelling.
SH29/ Taurikura Drive roundabout upgrade
Construction works are underway at the SH29/ Taurikura Dr roundabout and from Wednesday April 6, this will affect traffic on SH29 between Tauriko and the Takitimu Drive Toll Road. The work requires one of the westbound passing lanes to be closed.
From 7am through to 4pm on Wednesday speed restrictions and lane closures will be in place each day while Tauranga City Council contractors construct a new slip lane.
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.
Traffic is currently split with works underway in the middle of the two lanes.
All surfaces are sealed however a 50km/h speed restriction is in place for the safety of workers and to allow the seal to bed in.
People should only expect minor delays but are urged to stay alert behind the wheel as there will be changes to the road layout over the next month.
Waikato Expressway - Huntly section
Work continues at the Huntly Northern Interchange on State Highway 1 where a 70km/h speed restriction is in place. There are also 30km/h speed restrictions on local roads in the area including Orini Road, Stokes Road, Ralph Road to allow construction machinery to cross these roads.
Meanwhile, 50km/h speed restrictions are in place on Evans Road, Kimihia Road (east) to McGlynn Road and McVie Road between the stock car club and Kimihia East Road.
Waikato Expressway - Rangiriri section
There is ongoing traffic management across the site on State Highway 1 at Rangiriri. A speed restriction of 70km/h is in place across most of the section. A speed restriction of 50km/h is in place south of Rangiriri to allow contractor Fletcher Construction to continue working on the future south-bound lanes of the Expressway.
SH29 Kaimai Range
A major reseal programme on the Waikato side of the Kaimai Range (SH29) is under way from today. Motorists are advised to allow an extra few minutes when travelling up the steep Waikato side as there will be reduced passing opportunities. The work is expected to take a month to complete, Monday to Friday, starting from the bottom and moving upwards. A section nearer the summit will require traffic on a single lane under stop/go. Dates for that are to be confirmed.
SH1 rest area to close
Development and associated changes at the intersection of Wiltsdown Road and SH1 between Putaruru and Tokoroa mean a nearby rest area is to be closed permanently for safety reasons.
Industrial expansion in Wiltsdown Road, which also services a large rural community, is expected to lead to an increase in traffic. A left-turn acceleration lane is required so vehicles leaving Wiltsdown Road heading north can safely join SH1.
This will conflict with the rest area entrance 500m north of Wiltsdown Road which is in a 100km/h zone and near the a stream bridge.
The NZ Transport Agency has decided to permanently close the rest area from Monday, 18 April.
An alternative SH1 site is being investigated. In the meantime the Transport Agency, which encourages drivers to rest to reduce fatigue when undertaking long journeys, suggests motorists stop in Tokoroa or Putaruru, which are only 11kms away or eight minutes’ away from the site.
Roadworks at the Waitetuna intersection on SH23 are under way until 8 April.
Traffic will be managed through the site under speed restriction and stop-go traffic management, so people may encounter short delays. Hours of work are 7am-6pm.
Roadworks south of Putaruru are under way and 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 days a week, 6am-7pm. Traffic will be managed through the site, and motorists may encounter short delays.
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.
Works are scheduled for two other sections of SH3 in Te Kuiti: Seal repairs between George Street-King Street and a full reconstruction between King Street-Awakino Road.
This work will be carried out between 6 April and 12 May, during daylight hours Monday to Saturday. Traffic will be managed through the sites but short delays can be expected.
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.
The Transport Agency thanks motorists for their patience and cooperation while the works are underway.