Resurfacing the northbound lanes of State Highway 1 on Wellington’s urban motorway gets underway tonight as the NZ Transport Agency’s smart motorway project enters its final phase.
Transport Agency Wellington highway manager Neil Walker says work will be carried out overnight from Sunday to Thursday during the seven week programme to resurface northbound lanes between Ngauranga and Aotea.
“We’re doing a thorough rebuild of the road which involves removing layers of old paving, putting down the under-surface (or foundation layers) in sections, and then from early April, laying the final surfacing material on the top. Traffic will run on a temporary surface for a few weeks while the work progresses.
“Daytime drivers won’t be impacted by construction equipment but the nature of the work means the road layout may change from day-to-day. During the night works, traffic will be reduced to one lane, and the speed limit traffic will be reduced to 30kph,” says Mr Walker.
“Contractors will begin setting out the traffic management at 8pm each night, depending on the amount of traffic on the road. If there’s lots of traffic about, we’ll delay the work until the volume drops.
“We’re using a new road surface product called EMOGPA, or epoxy modified open grade porous asphalt. EMOGPA is a smart new product lasts much longer than other surfaces. It reduces road noise and water spray, and is expected to last up to 30 years – that’s four to five times longer than standard products.
“The rebuilt road and longer-lasting road surface will mean less disruption to road users for maintenance and resurfacing activities, and much better long term value,” says Mr Walker.
Resurfacing on the southbound stretch of State Highway 1 between Ngauranga and the Thorndon Overbridge will begin in early April. It’s programmed to take three weeks.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we thank motorists for bearing with us while we complete our smart motorway,” said Mr Walker.
This work is all about putting the smarts into Wellington’s urban motorway. The smart motorway will operate from Johnsonville and Petone to the Terrace Tunnel. Using variable speed limits which will be adjusted in real time in response to changing traffic conditions, the smart motorway will pace vehicles to ensure a smooth traffic flow which will make journeys safer and travel times more predictable during peak times for everyone. Itwill also free up nearby roads for better public transport trips and for pedestrian and cyclists. The smart motorway will begin operating in mid-2016.
More information is available from our website; www.nzta.govt.nz/smartmotorway(external link) and from our smart info centre in the Johnsonville Mall. Severe weather or other unforeseen circumstances could delay closures and the resurfacing so keep checking our website and follow us on Facebook(external link) (NZ Transport Agency-Wellington) and Twitter(external link) (@nztawgtn) for updates.