Work on state highway improvements in Auckland and Northland will stop tomorrow morning (Friday, 21 October) with the NZ Transport Agency anticipating roads will be busy this Labour Day weekend with both Rugby World Cup 2011 fans and those people driving to holiday destinations.
The break in work will help provide a smoother journey for drivers who have Eden Park as their destination, and for those heading away for the long holiday, says the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.
“People, however, will still need to take care when they drive through construction zones,” Mr Parker adds. “Speed restrictions will be in place, and they should be observed to ensure safety on these sections of highway.”
Key sites where care is needed include:
Care is also needed on SH25 in Waikato where the Kopu Bridge near Thames is being replaced.
“Although many people are already away because of the school holidays, traffic will be heavy on our state highways as others take advantage of the first holiday weekend after winter,” Mr Parker says.
The NZTA reminds motorists using the Northern Gateway Toll Road that they have the choice of either paying before leaving home, or paying within five days after their journey. They can do so online at www.tollroad.govt.nz(external link) and avoid having to pay the administration fee that applies to other payment options.
In Auckland, tens of thousands of rugby fans will be on the move across the city and the NZTA says people should plan to travel early to reach Eden Park on time for Friday’s bronze final and Sunday’s tournament final.
Traffic could be heavy around the Auckland Harbour Bridge and at the St Lukes interchange on the Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16), which is close to Eden Park.
Mr Parker says the NZTA will do everything it can to keep traffic flowing smoothly on the motorway network.
“Tow trucks will remain parked near the harbour bridge to respond quickly to clear any vehicle breakdown, and we will be will using our motorway electronic messages boards to keep drivers informed of traffic conditions ahead,” he says.
“To reduce the risk of being caught in congestion or being delayed by having to find a place to park, we would encourage people to use buses or trains, or walk the fan trail to Eden Park,” he adds.
Mr Parker says both games will be finishing late, and he urges people to drive with patience and care when they return home.
“It’s been a fantastic tournament for New Zealand, and we do not want it married by an avoidable road crash,” he says.
Mr Parker says the NZTA will work with police to actively manage traffic on the state highway network to ensure people have safe journeys.