Motorists are being urged to allow extra time for their journeys this summer and to take care on Canterbury roads with a number of maintenance projects underway throughout the region.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Canterbury Highway Manager Colin Knaggs says summer is the best time to carry out the maintenance work required to keep the highways safe for everyone to use.
“Unfortunately this work also coincides with the busy holiday and summer period.”
He says warmer temperatures and dry air are critical to help new seal stick more effectively to the existing surface.
“If this work was done in winter, the colder ground can mean the new surface hardens too quickly and cracks, and stones in the chip seal can pop out. Then we’d have to re-do the work again, causing even more inconvenience for travellers.”
Mr Knaggs says the Transport Agency does everything it can to reduce disruption at road works sites but it is important all road users are patient and observe speed limits with trucks and diggers on site and the roadway often narrowed as a result.
“These speed limits are in place as a safety precaution both for motorists and for those working on site.”
Motorists need to be mindful of the following works which may result in some delays to their journeys this summer:
State Highway 82
- Travel over the two Waitaki Bridges between Kurow and Hakataramea is restricted to 30km/h with the construction of the two new $20 million replacement bridges underway. This speed limit will remain until September 2014. Traffic will be reduced to single lane in late February for sealing.
State Highway 1
- From mid-January for four months, traffic along State Highway 1 from Temuka to Timaru will be reduced to 50km/h and 30km/h and to single-lane south of the passing lanes for sealing as part of a $1 million project of road reconstruction and new seal.
- New seal will be laid on State Highway 1, south of Temuka, south of Winchester and north of Hinds in late December.
- State Highway 1 will be milled and new pavement laid mid January through Timaru, near Waimataitai Street, Newman Street, Maori Hill and Wai-iti Road.
State Highway 79
- Traffic will be reduced to 50km/h and 30km/h from mid February for three months during the $300,000 road reconstruction*, widening and new seal on State Highway 79 near Hall Road, between Geraldine and Fairlie. The road will be reduce to single lane for sealing.
Motorists are advised that until late February there will also be a range of other resurfacing work being carried out on state highways through South Canterbury where there will be 30km/h speed limits and single lane during sealing.
State Highway 1
- State Highway 1 will be milled and new pavement laid mid January in Ashburton, near Havelock Street.
- From mid-January for two months, traffic along State Highway 1 from Rakaia and Ashburton, near Coplands Road, between Dromoor and Chertsey, will be reduced to 50km/h and 30km/h and single-lane when sealing in March for road reconstruction* and new seal.
- For three weeks in January/February, traffic travelling through Dunsandel will experience delays as a result of road reconstruction* being carried out on the main street. The work will involve lane changes.
State Highway 73
- General road reconstruction* works will be carried out beside the crib wall area on Porter's Pass in February. The work will tale about four weeks, with traffic movements controlled by traffic lights.
- Work gets underway in January on further road construction, widening and new sealing work at Thomas River, near Castle Hill. This work will take four weeks to complete and result in delays.
- Traffic lights will be set-up on State Highway 73 along the Castel Hill straight while road reconstruction works are completed over three weeks in January/February.
State Highway 77
- Traffic will be delayed along Bangor Road, heading into Darfield, for six weeks from January as general road reconstruction works are carried out on the road.
- For three weeks in February/March, general road reconstruction works will be carried out at the bridges on State Highway 77 at Wairiri Stream and Hororata River.
State Highway 75
- Motorists can expect delays on Halswell Road, between Glovers Road and Leadleys Road, for five weeks during February/March as a programme of road reconstruction work is completed. This will involve drainage work, chip sealing and asphalting.
State Highway 74
- Work gets underway mid January rebuilding the retaining work and repairing the road on State Highway 74 at the site of the former Lyttelton Tunnel Control Building. The work is expected to take 12 weeks and traffic will remain restricted to 30km/h throughout this time.
State Highway 1
- A $1.4 million package of resurfacing work is underway at various sites throughout North Canterbury which will result in traffic delays as a result of speed restrictions and stop/go operations at the sites. Work is currently underway in the Kaikoura rea, between Parnassus and Hapuku. This will be completed before Christmas.
- From late January/early February, resurfacing work is expected to be underway between Waipara and Amberley. The work will take a week and will be followed by a week's work between the Hurunui passing lanes and Parnassus.
- South of the Okarahai summit, new drainage works and sealing work will be undertaken from mid January for a month and result in delays and speed restrictions.
State Highway 7
- From mid January, work begins resurfacing the lower part of the State Highway 7, from Weka Pass to east of Culverden, followed by the area from Hanmer to Glynn Wye. The work will take about a week in each area and motorists can expect delays and temporary speed restrictions.
- In Lewis Pass, work gets underway next week on the month-long project of pavement renewal along a section of State Highway 7, 3.5km west of the Boyle River. There will be traffic delays, with stop/go operations at the site.
- Just west of Shale Peak Stream, work is already underway installing new drainage. The work is expected to run through to the end of February when the road will be re-sealed.
- From mid-January, there will be delays just west of Waikari township as work gets underway on 230 metres of road shoulder works, laying of new gravel and sealing. The work will take until the end of March to complete.
For up-to-date state highway travel information visit www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) or phone the Transport Agency's 0800 4 HIGHWAYS information line to get the latest updates or to report incidents or hazards on the state highways. Alternatively, sign-up via www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link) to receive free email alerts to keep informed, before you start your journey, about notable incidents, road conditions or road works on the state highway network.
*Road reconstruction can include clearing of weeds and vegetation from the roadside, digging of new trenches, road widening, the application of new chip, re-sealing the highway and safety improvement works.