Testing of traffic lights on the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) Welcome Bay and Maungatapu roundabout project is scheduled for this month.
Kevin Reid, senior project manager for NZTA, said with the two Transpower high tension power lines removed last weekend the project can move ahead quickly.
“Traffic signal poles are in place on both roundabouts and the lights, once installed, will be tested in stages rather than all at once. Each intersection will be isolated for testing at various times to ensure the lights are working correctly before commissioning,” said Mr Reid.
“There will be some traffic delays and queues during this process, but we will be doing everything we can to reduce those delays and we hope disruptions will be minimal. Traffic control staff will be on site while various intersections are tested and help drivers by advising of delays and redirecting traffic.”
Mr Reid said people will notice some road surfaces are fully completed and lanes are marked.
“The stretch of road between the two roundabouts is completed, with only a layer of asphalt to be laid on the southern end of Welcome Bay Road and SH29 entrances. Hopefully, by the end of this week the Welcome Bay Roundabout will be complete. Final road surface works will be completed on Maungatapu Roundabout and all nearby roads will be surfaced,” said Mr Reid.
Lane closures will continue to be in place from 7pm each night until 6am the following morning until works are completed in a few weeks time. Weather permitting, the latest overnight lane closures will be the section of SH2 and SH29 between Taipari Street Over Bridge and Maungatapu Roundabout. Closures start from 7pm Wednesday December 3 and finish at 6am the following morning, and again from 7pm Thursday December 3 to 6am Friday December 5. Motorists are advised to follow the signposted detours via Taipari Street and Maungatapu Road while the closure is in place. In the event of adverse weather conditions or any other factors, the closure will be moved to the next suitable day.
“A lot has been achieved in a relatively short space of time. We’ve remained on target with our contractor’s timetable and can now look forward to having the traffic lights operational shortly,” says Mr Reid.
Mr Reid said the biggest challenge to date was the tight timeframe to do works but significant progress has taken place particularly in the last two weeks. The project is taking shape quickly and it is exciting to see the final layout coming through he says.
Mr Reid said some vehicle entrances needed reconstruction as part of the contract work along Maungatapu Road and Hairini Street. Residents had been contacted in advance to ensure access is available as required while the work is carried out. Feedback from affected residents has been positive.
Pedestrian routes through the site may be altered to ensure public safety within the work area.
Electronic Variable Message Signs (VMS) continue to run throughout the project to advise what works are happening and what road users can expect.
During construction people are encouraged to use alternative routes and travel outside peak traffic times. Cycling, using buses or car sharing is recommended. Another suggestion is for employers to offer temporary flexi-time or work from home options for staff as well as parents enrolling their children in walking school buses rather than using vehicles to drop them off. People can register for car sharing at www.carsharebop.co.nz(external link).
NZTA is asking people who would like regular updates about construction as a guide to choosing the easiest route to use during construction to sign up by sending an email to email@example.com.