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Power surge possible cause of Kawarau Falls Bridge traffic signal issues

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The NZ Transport Agency says lengthy delays for motorists at the Kawarau Falls Bridge on State highway 6 near Queenstown last night appear to have been caused by a power outage or electrical fault with the traffic signal management system at the bridge.

Long traffic queues formed at both ends of the bridge around 5pm last night when the signals seemed to suddenly go out of sequence.

NZ Transport Agency Central Otago Area Manager John Jarvis says there was an electrical malfunction that has damaged the equipment that runs the signal phasing and we apologise for this.

Since upgrading the equipment in April, we have managed to improve the efficiency of the signals especially at peak times, and the problems encountered last night are believed to be caused by an unfortunately timed power outage.

“The new equipment enabled us to quickly reset the phasing temporarily, however it could take a few days to replace damaged electrical components, to fully restore the signals to the corrected phase times. In the mean time, we ask motorists to exercise patience while we urgently work on resolving the situation.”

In recognition of the importance of this bridge, our contractor will be on site at peak times over the weekend to run a manual stop-go traffic management system if required. We will continue our investigations into this issue and monitor the situation accordingly Mr Jarvis said.

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