Drivers will be given a 14-day reprieve from summer road works from next week, with the NZ Transport Agency announcing there will be no work on Waikato and Bay of Plenty state highways from noon on December 23 until 10am on January 6.
Transport Agency journey managers Liam Ryan and Nigel D’Ath say crews will only carry out urgent emergency works if needed during the shutdown to reduce delays for drivers during the peak holiday period.
“This will let people get to their favourite holiday hot spots to catch up with family and friends with fewer delays,” Mr “D’Ath says.
“We know roadworks can be a bit of a headache for motorists, but resealing and maintaining the roads keeps people safe on our highways.
“Summer is the best time to do this work as the warm temperatures and dry air helps the new seal to stick to the existing road surface. Repairs done in winter are just not as durable.”
Mr Ryan says Transport Agency contractors will be making the most of the warmer drier weather to over the next four months to make roads safer and progress major projects.
Aside from the annual shutdown from next week, there will be speed restrictions and other traffic management on state highways.
“Drivers are likely to experience delays and should get in the habit of allowing extra time for their journeys, “Mr Ryan says.
People can get information on proposed and current road works and detours in the region they are in, or travelling to by going online and checking www.nzta.govt.nz/summerjourneys(external link) , by calling 0800 444 449 or following the Transport Agency on Facebook or Twitter.
People travelling around the Bay of Plenty can also go to www.drivelive.nz/tauranga(external link) , an innovative website that tells drivers what the current travel times are to get to key places.
Mr Ryan says work crews will be focussed on reducing delays where they can, and on some high volume traffic areas the work will be done overnight.
“We understand road works can inconvenience people on their journeys. Dust, noise, speed restrictions and detours can really frustrate drivers and passengers, which is why we’re giving people as much information as we can so they can be prepared and avoid frustrating delays,” he says.
“The more you plan the better prepared you will be for a more predictable journey.”
Road works planned for the next few days that are likely to cause more than five minutes delays are detailed below:
Bay of Plenty
SH2 between Athenree Gorge and Waihi
Speed restrictions and stop/go traffic management will be in place on SH2 near Athenree over the next few days to allow contractors to carry out resealing works. Motorists are advised to allow an extra five to 10 minutes when travelling on this route.
SH2 between Opotiki and Gisborne
Stop/go traffic management and speed restrictions will be in place on several sections of SH2 over the next few days while contractors carry out resealing works. Motorists are advised to allow an extra 15 minutes when travelling on this route.
SH36 Pyes Pa
Contractors will be resealing a stretch of SH36 near Pyes Pa School on Saturday December 19. Stop/go traffic management will be in place and motorists are advised to allow an extra five minutes when travelling on this road.
SH1 Five Mile Bay
Road-widening works continue on SH1 at Five Mile Bay, just south of Taupo, until January. Traffic management is in place and motorists should allow for delays of up to five minutes.
The Transport Agency apologises for any inconvenience and thanks motorists for their patience during the works.