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Slow down and be safe on Waikato and Bay of Plenty roads this summer

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Motorists are being urged to take care on the roads and allow extra time when travelling this summer, with a number of maintenance and safety projects underway in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.

The NZ Transport Agency’s regional performance manager Karen Boyt says an extensive programme of reconstruction and resealing is planned between now and April next year.

“For most people summer is a time to get outdoors, head to the beach and have fun but it’s also a time when our contractors are busy repairing road surfaces and carrying out important safety improvements,” she says. 

Ms Boyt acknowledges that road works can be dusty, noisy and, at times, frustrating for drivers, but says the work does ensure there are better and safer roads for everyone to travel on.

“Summer is the best time to reseal our roads as warmer temperatures and dry air helps new seal to stick to the road surface.

“Cold ground conditions, wet weather and moisture mean we cannot carry out this maintenance work during the winter months.

 “We try to minimise the impacts of the work but people can expect short delays due to speed restrictions and stop/ go traffic control.

“We hope the travelling public understand the importance of these works and we thank them for their patience.”

Ms Boyt says it is critical that motorists slow down and observe the speed restrictions through work sites.

“Resealing and reconstruction work involves heavy machinery, loose metal, bitumen and cement - that’s why speed restrictions are needed,” she says.

“Speeding through the sites can be dangerous for road workers and other motorists, as well as causing damage to the work.”

“We specially ask motorists to obey the speed restrictions where sealing work is underway or just completed. This not only helps to settle in the new surface but will prevent stone chips from flying up onto passing vehicles.”

Ms Boyt says there will be no work on state highways in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions between December 24, 2014 and January 5, 2015, or on Auckland Anniversary Weekend or Waitangi Day.

“However, there will be speed restrictions in place, even when the sites are unoccupied, and we ask everyone observes these restrictions which are there to protect the works which are in the process of being completed,” she says.

Summer is also the time when major projects get built – like the new roundabout south of Tirau, another being built at the SH2/25 intersection in north Waikato, and one about to start at SH3/37 – the turnoff to the Waitomo Caves.

The Cambridge and Rangiriri sections of the Waikato Expressway are still under construction, along with the Tauranga Eastern Link project in the Bay.

Find out more about the Waikato summer works programme at www.nzta.govt.nz/waikato-maintenance(external link)  or Bay of Plenty at www.nzta.govt.nz/bay-of-plenty-maintenance(external link).

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 Contractors will be out in force this summer maintaining roads around the region.

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Motorists are being urged to drive with care these holidays as contractors begin summer works around the region.

For real time information on highway conditions and incidents visit www.nzta.govt.nz call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or follow @nztawaibop on twitter.

For personalised information about driving conditions on their frequently used routes, motorists can check out and sign up to On The Move at www.onthemove.govt.nz.

 

NZTA’s top tips for a safe summer

  • Before hitting the road, take the time to check your vehicle is safe – check the tyres, indicators and lights.
  • Allow plenty of time for travel – slow down where and when risks are high and make the journey part of the holiday.
  • Plan ahead and check the conditions at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) or 0800 44 44 49, or plan your route with www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link)
  • Take regular breaks from driving to avoid fatigue.
  • Avoid the busiest peak periods when highways are congested.

Don’t drink and drive – and remember that lower blood alcohol limits take effect from December 1 – see http://www.transport.govt.nz/legislation/bills/land-transport-amendment-bill-2013/(external link)

For more information please contact:

Natalie Dixon
Waikato / Bay of Plenty Media Manager

T: 07 928 7908
M: 021 928 413
E: natalie.dixon@nzta.govt.nz

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