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Plan ahead as highways summer season hits high gear

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With the onset of summer and more reliable construction weather, the NZ Transport Agency is getting stuck into a large programme of work to improve the Auckland and Northland state highway network and make it safer and more reliable.

These improvements will bring widespread benefits for all drivers, but the Transport Agency warns that people should allow for any disruptions this work may cause to their summer journeys.

“People travelling around Auckland and Northland this summer will see plenty of evidence of the work we have underway to deliver a better transport network. However, there will be some delays and detours for drivers as we work to get it done as quickly and as safely as possible,” says Highway Manager Brett Gliddon.

“We’re at the start of the festive season and thousands of drivers will be moving across the city and to holiday destinations to celebrate Christmas and New Year, do their shopping and attend summer events. Before leaving home, people should plan ahead and chose their best route.”

Mr Gliddon acknowledges that work this summer will cause some frustration for drivers, and says the Transport Agency will do everything it can to minimise disruption. 

“The support and understanding of drivers will also be critical for the successful delivery of our work. We’ve got a lot to do, and as much as possible we’ll be timing this work at nights, during the weekend or in summer holidays to take advantage of lower traffic volumes and the more settled weather. We need drivers to work with us, plan their travel well ahead and allow more time to get to their destination on time and safely.”

An extensive communication campaign has been prepared, and the Transport Agency will work closely with Auckland Transport, Police and other key stakeholders to keep drivers informed. 

A dedicated website - www.nzta.govt.nz/summerseason(external link) - has been established to provide information about work affecting travel in Auckland and Northland this summer season.

Mr Gliddon says that the amount of work underway reflects the huge investment in place to improve transport infrastructure in both Auckland and Northland.

“In Northland for example, we’ve kicked off a $13m maintenance renewals programme at a number of different sites around the region. This investment in the north is essential to keeping our roads safe and reliable for all users. Our contractors will be out there this summer improving the pavements, repairing cracked surfaces, and improving slippery surfaces that have reduced skid resistance.

“Northland’s network has seen a lot of wear and tear, particularly after last winter’s storms, and keeping it in good shape is crucial,” Mr Gliddon adds.

The Agency says it also has an unprecedented level of activity underway on motorways in Auckland city.

“Aucklanders will see a ton of work underway on the motorways in Auckland this summer season – including upgrades to major parts of the network like the Victoria Park Viaduct, re-surfacing a section of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, as well as extensive construction works as projects in the area get underway and come on stream,” says Mr. Gliddon.

“This work will deliver long term gains but there will be some short term pain and we’re asking for people to get prepared for their summer travel and use the information channels we have in place to choose the best times and routes to avoid delays and reduce stress,” says Mr. Gliddon.

“With so much activity on the go this summer, there are going to be impacts and changes to the highways and motorways in the region. Our new summer season webpage enables people to keep informed about what those changes and impacts are so they can plan their trips. The more people check, the better prepared they’ll be.”

“When we’ve finished the Transport Agency’s contribution will help people and freight move around Auckland and Northland safer and more efficiently. In the meantime we thank you for your support and patience. Please drive with care and check before you travel this summer.”

Keep informed at www.nzta.govt.nz/summerseason(external link), Facebook www.facebook.com/nztaakl(external link) and follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/nztaakl(external link)

For more information please contact:

Ewart Barnsley
Auckland/Northland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency

T: 09 928 8720
M: 027 213 7616
E: ewart.barnsley@nzta.govt.nz

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