Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reminding drivers heading north from Auckland of changes to the road layout on State Highway 1 at Pūhoi, which will remain in place through the ANZAC public holiday.
The Johnstones Hill Tunnels can be a congestion hotspot, especially at weekends or on public holidays, and motorists are advised to expect long delays and to allow additional time for their journeys or consider an alternate route such as SH16 for travel north of Wellsford.
Northbound travelers will exit at the Pūhoi northbound off-ramp before being directed along a short section of Pūhoi Road and back onto the existing SH1. A temporary speed limit of 30km/h and traffic management is in place through the work site.
Andrew Robertson, National Manager Commercial Delivery says that these works are not just a sign of potential delays, they’re a sign of progress and asks motorists to be patient.
“The road layout changes are the final in a staged sequence of work to connect SH1 to the new Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway north of the Johnstones Hill tunnels and will remain in place until the motorway opens in the coming months.
“We know this new motorway is something that people are waiting for and our crews are working hard now to make this a safer, more reliable, and resilient route in the coming months.
“We understand the long-term benefits from this project comes with a short-term trade-off and we acknowledge that this will cause delays for people travelling over the public holiday.
“There were extensive delays through the area over Easter for northbound motorists and we expect to see large numbers of people heading away again over ANZAC weekend so we’re urging motorists to consider using SH16 as an alternative route for journeys north of Wellsford.
“Delays are frustrating, but it is disappointing to hear there has been some unsafe behaviour as a small number of motorists have tampered with the traffic management in place. This behaviour is completely unacceptable and serious incidents will be reported to the police.
“We're asking people who travel through the site to stick to the temporary traffic management in place and be respectful of the stop/go crew. Crews will be working hard to minimise delays where possible.
“We are grateful for the understanding and patience road users have shown in the face of ongoing works and we are nearly there.
“Beyond the short-term challenges, what we are doing and the infrastructure we are building will have enormous benefits for Auckland and Northland” says Mr Robertson.
Waka Kotahi asks motorists to take extra care when travelling through the site and to adhere to the temporary speed restrictions for their own safety, and that of our road workers and other road users.
Waka Kotahi is also reminding motorists that SH1 Brynderwyn Hills is closed in both directions as crews carry out major earth works and drainage installation.
Detours are in place for light vehicles via Mangawhai and Waipu and for heavy vehicles via SH12 and SH14.
For up-to-date information on road works, traffic, detours and delays, drivers are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website.