Residents and users of SH1 in Marlborough need to be prepared for a series of night closures at Weld Pass, south of Blenheim, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Two weeks of night works are planned between Sunday, 22 January and Friday, 3 February.
The highway will be closed between 8 pm and 6 am while contractors carry out essential maintenance and improvements to the road, says Andrew James, System Manager Top of the South for Waka Kotahi.
“There will be one scheduled opening each night at midnight, to allow queued traffic through the works site.”
Contractors will be carrying out essential structural asphalt work to strengthen the road surface.
Waka Kotahi has worked closely with the freight industry in planning this programme of essential work.
“This work will involve milling, or removing, the old road surface and adding new, deeper layers. It is about making sure the highway is properly maintained and kept safe for the thousands of vehicles that use it every week, and is similar to the approach we took last summer season.”
Why a full road closure?
Because the road through Weld Pass is very narrow, Mr James says a full closure for night works is necessary. “It would be impossible to do this work during the day under stop/go traffic management without causing extensive traffic delays and extending the disruption into Waitangi weekend and conflicting with a scheduled closure on the diversion route, SH7 Lewis Pass,” he says.
“When we have our machinery at work, there is not enough road space to let traffic through. For the safety and efficiency of our contractors and road users, the highway has to be closed overnight, with the one opening time. We have taken care to time the works to cause the least disruption to traffic and residents and have opted for eight-hour night closures to get as much pavement work done as possible.”
Access will be available for emergency services at all times.
“We realise this work will cause disruptions and delays for road users and residents. However, SH1 is a vital transport link, and the asphalting improvements must be made. I want to thank residents, visitors, and regular users of the route for their tolerance and understanding while this work is completed,” says Mr James.
22-25 January work planned on the Hundalees to the south
While the work on Weld Pass is underway, four nights of work (22-25 January) is also planned on SH1 to the south on the Hundalees hills, making the most of the Weld Pass road closure. SH1 will be fully closed 10 pm to 5 am on the Hundalees these four nights.
Advice for people using SH1 between Picton and Christchurch 22 January to 3 February
Mr James says people heading north towards Picton to catch an overnight ferry need to be through the Weld Pass at the midnight opening time while this work is underway over the two-week period – 22 January to 3 February.
People driving south from Picton, going towards Christchurch overnight need to factor in the midnight opening on the Weld Pass for the two weeks of work.
Weld Pass works schedule:
Advice to road users
This work is weather dependent so if it is wet, dates may be pushed out. Waka Kotahi will notify any changes to this schedule.