State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Range is scheduled for up to three weeks of crucial maintenance work early in the New Year, during which time there will be a number of stages of work and associated traffic management requirements.
The first stage of work sees the installation of new roadside drainage on the westbound (Waikato-bound) side of the road, and will see one lane operating in each direction between 8pm and 5am, Monday 10 January to Thursday 13 January.
Following this, the second stage of work sees a section of the westbound lane re-built and resurfaced. Due to the narrow, windy nature of this section of road contractors will close the road between 8pm and 5am for two successive nights on two consecutive weekends (Sunday 16/Monday 17 January and Sunday 23/Monday 24 January) to maximise efficiency within a safe working environment.
On both weeks, there will then be three nights of alternating one-way closures, on Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20 January and Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 January; these closures will also be between 8pm and 5am.
When SH29 is only open for alternating one-way flows there will be two three and a half hour windows to allow for traffic to pass through in one direction only. The timetable for the works are:
A full timetable of the works can be viewed on the Waikato roadworks page: journeys.nzta.govt.nz/waikato/roadworks/(external link)
During these times vehicles will be held at the intersections with State Highway 24 and State Highway 28 at Te Poi on the Waikato side, through to the intersection of SH29 and Cambridge Road on the Bay of Plenty side.
Resident access will be maintained at all times during the works, however residents will need to liaise with the traffic control teams onsite.
Waikato System Manager Cara Lauder says the full and partial closures allows the vital maintenance work to take place while still allowing traffic, particularly trucks, to plan their journey across the Kaimai Range.
“Completing the road maintenance work safely is our priority. Our contractor has worked extensively with Waka Kotahi, the freight industry and key stakeholders to understand the best time to complete this work, whilst providing certainty for all road users regarding how and when they can travel to and from Tauranga.”
Waka Kotahi has opted for one long window for traffic in each direction rather than more frequent but shorter windows to avoid lengthy queues of vehicles waiting for their turn to cross the Kaimai Range. By having a longer window drivers, especially those in trucks, can plan their journey with greater certainty so that when they arrive the road will be open.
During the day the road will reopen to two lanes and there will be reduced speeds through areas that have been recently resealed.
The detours for this closure are significant, and due to other planned maintenance activities in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, there are road closures on potential detour routes during this time, such as those on State Highway 36. Road users are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website (journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link)) for up to date information on all routes to and from Tauranga.
Any drivers planning to use the east-bound or west-bound travel window during the closures are advised to allow extra time for their journey.
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:
Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)