‘Know before you go’ and avoid road work queues this summer


‘Know before you go’ to avoid travel delays and disruption is the message from the NZ Transport Agency, as the annual road maintenance season gets underway in South Canterbury.

Contractors will be out in force over the next few months, making the most of the summer weather to ensure roads are well maintained and safe for driving all year round.

People are likely to encounter speed restrictions and other traffic management at roadwork sites and are urged to get in the habit of checking out what is happening on their route and planning their journey.

Travellers can get information on state highway road works, delays and detours on the ‘traffic and travel’ section of the Transport Agency’s website https://www.nzta.govt.nz/(external link), by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 444 449) or following the Transport Agency  on Facebook or Twitter.

The Transport Agency’s Canterbury/West Coast Journey Manager Lee Wright says summer is the best time for this work.

“Summer time means more daylight hours for our contractors to work in, warm, dry weather which lets new seal set properly,” Ms Wright says.

“The cold winter ground would make the new surface harden and crack and we’d just have to do it all over again next year. This would cause drivers even more inconvenience.

“While we know that road works can be dusty, noisy and generally a bit of a pain, drivers will have a better, safer road once this work is done.”

Ms Wright says the Transport Agency and its contractors are committed to getting the work done with as little disruption as possible however there will be delays at times.

“Planning ahead and knowing what is happening on the roads means you can consider taking another route (if possible) or factor in any disruptions so you arrive at your destination on time,” she says.

With more crews out on the roads over the coming months, drivers are reminded to slow down through road works.  “We want motorists and our road crews to get home safely,” Ms Wright says.

“Everyone has a role to play in reducing the harm that happens on our roads, so we’re asking people to be patient and observe temporary speed restrictions. These are in place to protect the safety of the road workers and to limit damage to the sites our crews are working on.”

South Canterbury road work sites which may cause delays are detailed below:

State Highway 79, Upper Orari Bridge

  • Motorists travelling on SH79 over the Upper Orari Bridge near Rangitata may experience 15 minute delays over the next few weeks as contractors carry out repairs to the bridge. Stop/go traffic management will be in place on weekdays from Monday 23 January through to February 10 between the hours of 7am and 7pm.  Drivers are urged to allow plenty of extra time when travelling through the site.

State Highway 1 (SH1) 

  • Motorists travelling on SH1 through Normanby, just south of Timaru, are advised to plan ahead and allow for delays of up to 15 minutes over the next fortnight as contractors carry out major road works.
  • Speed restrictions, lane closures and other traffic management will be in place on SH1 between the Talbot/Ellis Roads and Normanby/Daniels Road intersections from 7pm Wednesday (January 25), to allow contractors to mill out and resurface the highway.

    Contractors will work on one lane at a time over the following two nights and following days, digging out the existing surface and applying a temporary water proof seal.

    The temporary seal will remain in place for approximately 10 days to allow the chip seal below to dry and to ensure there are no underlying pavement defects. Following this, open-graded porous asphalt will be applied to create a smoother and quieter surface and road markings will be re-painted.

    These works will be co-ordinated with the resurfacing of SH1 King Street, Timaru, the section north of Otipua Road and Craigie/Domain Avenue intersections which start on Friday 27 January.

    The work will be carried out over two to three days, with the road down to one lane at times. Temporary speed restrictions will be in place.
  • Contractors will repair and resurface a 160 metre-long section of SH1 at Orari township from January 30.  The work, in the northbound lane will see speed restrictions, lane closures and other traffic management in place for approximately one week. 
  • A section of SH1 between Lachlan Street and Cass Street in Temuka will be re-surfaced over a two-week period from early February. The road will be down to one lane at times, with stop-go traffic management and speed restrictions in place.
  • Contractors will carry out major repairs at the SH1/ SH8 intersection at Washdyke from late March. The work involves milling out, repairing and resurfacing the road and will take approximately four weeks.
  • A section of SH1 between Hobbs Street and Grassmere Street in Ashbury will be repaired and resurfaced from mid-February through to March. Speed restrictions, lane closures and other traffic management including restricted parking will be in place during the work. 

The Transport Agency thanks drivers for their patience and understanding while these important works are carried out.