The NZ Transport Agency is continuing to monitor traffic along the new State Highway 1 alignment between Mackays Crossing and Paekākāriki following congestion over the weekend and this morning.
The Transport Agency’s Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says contractors have been sweeping loose chipseal off the entire length of the road since Saturday morning.
“We recognise that there was too much loose chip on the road over the weekend, despite being swept on both Friday and Saturday night, and that drivers understandably became more cautious,” Mr Owen says.
“The chipseal is being checked regularly and we can assure drivers that it is safe to drive through at the posted temporary speed limit.
“We expect the situation to improve over the next couple of days but will continue to monitor traffic flows and ensure the new road is being swept free of any chip that becomes loose.”
The traffic switch was necessary to ensure that contractors can continue earthworks to join Transmission Gully to the Mackays interchange.
This work involves removing material from the large embankment on the western side of the old State Highway 1 and moving it to the approaches to the new bridge on the eastern side of State Highway 1.
“The project team needs to start this work over the Christmas break to ensure that Transmission Gully can open in 2020,” Mr Owen says.
“Transmission Gully is a very complex project with a tight timeline and the traffic switch had already been delayed several weeks due to poor weather. Delaying any longer would have impacted on the team’s ability to complete the project on time.
“However, we are aware of the impact it has had on traffic and are working hard to minimise this.”
The Transport Agency advises drivers to stay on State Highway 1 and avoid using diversions as this adds to congestion. Drivers should travel at the posted temporary speed limit, but also plan more time for their journeys this week as drivers get used to the new alignment.