Plan ahead for summer journeys to Taranaki on State Highway 3


The lead up to Christmas is a busy time for everyone, especially on State Highway 3, with road works taking place in a number of locations.

Essential maintenance work and a number of ongoing infrastructure projects are underway on SH3 between Hamilton and New Plymouth.  Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency acknowledges that this work is disruptive, but says the great long-term benefits for the corridor will be worth it.

“The lead-up to Christmas is a busy time on our roads, for both those working on them and those travelling on them”, says Waikato Journey Manager, Liam Ryan.

“There are a lot of sites on SH3 which will be active at the same time. This means people can expect to see road cones, temporary speed limits and construction crews working hard, and people will need to plan for delays to their travel.”

As well as the specific work sites, there is 11 kilometres of resealing to be completed between Piopio and Bell Block.

“Due to the number of sites, it’s difficult to anticipate the exact travel delays, although we’re expecting that at times, delays could be up to one hour between Hamilton and New Plymouth. We’re working to minimise disruption to journeys as much as possible.

“Please follow the signage at each site and any instructions crew may give you. We’re working hard to complete a significant programme of work which will provide better roads to drive on,” says Mr Ryan.

Road users can check the latest state highway road conditions, including where worksites and incidents are, on the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner(external link).

Current long-term project sites on SH3 include:

Current and upcoming maintenance work sites on SH3 between Hamilton and New Plymouth include:

  • Ōhaupō

Construction of a signalised pedestrian crossing is underway with completion due at the end of February 2024.Traffic management is in place with a temporary speed limit of 30km/h. 

  • Kihikihi

A new right-turn bay is being installed at the intersection of SH3 and Andrew Street in Kihikihi. The project is underway and expected to take 5 weeks to complete, with a finish date of Thursday 22 December. Access to McAndrew Street from SH3 will be closed for the duration of the project with local traffic and residents detouring via Balance and Walmsley streets.

  • Waitomo

Road rebuilding continues at a site near the Big Apple.  Stop/go traffic management will be in place between 6am and 8pm, and from Monday 27 November this will switch to 24-hour stop/go for approximately 2 weeks.  A temporary speed limit will be in place, work is expected to be completed by mid-December.

  • Te Kūiti

Just south of Te Kūiti construction will start on a retaining wall and culvert in January 2024, works are expected to take 3 months. During this time stop/go will be in place with temporary speed limits.

  • Uruti Rock

Rock mesh slip protection work north of Mangamaio Road continues. Stop/go and stop/stop traffic management is in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, along with a 30km/h temporary speed restriction until Christmas. Delays of up to 30 minutes are expected. 

  • Chipseal Programme

There is a significant programme of chipseal repair work that will be started in the new year along the length of SH3, especially between Ōtorohanga and Eight Mile Junction (the intersection of SH3 and SH4).  Sites will be managed using stop/go traffic control and temporary speed limits, which helps to ensure that the chip is properly bedded in and keeps our workers safe from flying stones.

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