The NZ Transport Agency is starting two significant improvement projects along State Highway 6 in Nelson from Thursday 8 February: a road resurfacing project along Rocks Road as well as a shared pathway project closer to Nelson CBD, from the Maitai River to Rocks Road.
Because these two projects are happening at the same time within a kilometre of each other to make the most of the summer construction period, road users in Nelson should be prepared and build in extra time for a slower than usual journey getting to the city and the port,” says Acting Transport System Manager for the Transport Agency, Steve Murrin.
Night times, 7 pm to 7 am, will be when traffic is slowed down most along Rocks Road.
Rocks Road, north of the Tahunanui retail area between Basin Reserve and Magazine Point, will be rebuilt and resurfaced. Work will be completed before Easter Weekend if the weather stays fine and dry.
Work includes improving drains and kerbs, and rebuilding and resurfacing the road surface. Additional work includes some seawall strengthening. The Rocks Road chain fence will not be affected.
During the day the highway will be two lanes at all times, with speed reduced to 30km/hour, but it will reduce to one lane over night with Stop/Go traffic management. “Crews will work six days a week, including between 7pm and 7 am, to reduce the time the work affects traffic flows on this busy route to Nelson’s CBD and the Port,” says Mr Murrin.
“While we do repair and resurfacing work across the highway network each summer, this project is significant because we have to totally rebuild the road and the associated services,” he says.
This sort of project only happens once every 15-20 years and is necessary because the existing road material/ pavement has lost its shape and strength.
“This work is part of the summer maintenance programme, designed to ensure a safe, quiet and well-maintained road surface. Work is expected to take seven weeks, weather permitting.”
Later in February, work starts on the Maitai to Rocks Road Shared Pathway: a new three metre-wide shared path for cyclists and pedestrians. The project goes from the existing Maitai River shared path, along Queen Elizabeth II Drive, Haven Road and Wakefield Quay. Work involves constructing new shared paths, kerb, line markings, crossings, landscaping, street lighting and resurfacing of the intersections along Haven Road.
“Most of the work will be done during the day in the road shoulder, reducing the impact on traffic flows along this busy route,” says Mr Murrin. “We will have to close one lane and run Stop/Go traffic management for the resurfacing and lane marking work to be undertaken at night, but in the main, most of the work will be off the carriageway which will minimise the impact on road users.
“We appreciate that this road is a key route in and out of Nelson and we thank all drivers for being patient while it is underway. If people are able to use Waimea Road/ Rutherford St to get to and from the city, that may help while work is underway,” he says.
Work on the shared pathway is expected to be complete by the end of June, weather permitting.
As with the resurfacing works on Rocks Road, cyclists will need to cycle on the road way where crews are working, as the marked cycle lane will be closed while these works are underway. Experienced cyclists may choose to use the traffic lane, given the slower speed limit. Drivers are asked to take care around cyclists.
“Considerable planning has gone into the coordination of both works to ensure that they are happening in a way that minimises the impact on the community who live and work along this stretch of State Highway 6 and who use the road to get to work or for recreation,” says Mr Murrin. “This is especially important given the fact that the two project sites are located within one kilometre of each other. Both projects will be a great asset for our community and keep this important route safe and resilient for more people.”