People travelling on State Highway 3 between Awakino and New Plymouth are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys over the next few weeks.
From Monday (24 January), Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency contractors will undertake essential maintenance work in the Awakino Gorge. Work will take approximately two weeks and is expected to result in delays of up to 45 minutes.
Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations Jaclyn Hankin says the work is part of a large summer maintenance programme to significantly improve Taranaki state highways.
“Crews will be onsite between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, repairing several sites on a 14km stretch of highway through the gorge in preparation for resealing work scheduled in the coming months.
“The winding, narrow road makes it unsafe to have vehicles queuing through the gorge, so traffic will be held at either end and escorted through the 14km site by pilot vehicles,” says Ms Hankin.
Emergency services will be given priority access through the site.
The road will be reopened to two lanes for the weekends, but temporary speed limits will remain in place.
Further south on SH3, northbound light vehicles are being detoured through Waitara while a new stormwater pipe is installed on the highway. This work is part of SH3 Waitara to Bell Block safety improvements, which aim to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the busy stretch of highway.
The detour adds approximately 12 minutes to journeys north and six minutes to southbound travel.
“We understand these delays are inconvenient, and we appreciate everyone’s patience while we undertake these works as quickly and safely as possible,” says Ms Hankin.
‘Please help keep everyone safe by following the directions of traffic management staff and signs and being courteous to our road works crews.”
Those travelling to South Taranaki may consider State Highway 4 as an alternative route. However, please be advised of delays of up to one hour on State Highway 43 through the Tangarakau Gorge for sealing works.
People are strongly encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website to help plan their trips and reduce delays.
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