Lyttelton Tunnel drivers can expect occasional delays at night between now and the end of next year, as a multi-million dollar fire protection upgrade inside the tunnel gathers momentum.
The $28 million NZ Transport Agency project is the largest undertaken in the tunnel since opening in 1964, and it will improve safety and reduce the risk of lengthy closures.
Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright says some single-lane and full tunnel (both lanes at same time) closures are required in order to complete this project. To minimise disruptions for tunnel users, work is being carried out at night and in the early morning, when traffic flows are light.
Ms Wright says tunnel access for emergency services will be maintained at all times throughout, with the project expected to be completed by the end of next year.
More details about this project including a three-month forward calendar of tunnel traffic lane closures, so night workers and people who start work early can plan ahead, is found here:
The work will take place after 9 pm at night and before 5.30 am in the morning. Specific days for the blue boxed items below (eg “2 single lane closures”) will be specified closer to the date, aiming to give people several weeks’ notice.
Many people will not notice any difference from the usual tunnel maintenance and cleaning schedule which also causes short delays for drivers.
Electronic signs at the tunnel’s entrances also warn drivers of work upcoming.