Southland summer: On the road again


Just like Willie Nelson, roading crews all over Southland cannot wait to get on the road again, preparing highways for summer repairs and full reconstruction work in several key places.

Drainage work is the first stage in many cases, says Justin Reid, Maintenance Contract Manager for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency in Southland.

Highways South, on behalf of Waka Kotahi, will be delivering road reconstruction and resurfacing projects from October until mid-April as daylight hours increase, and the warmer temperatures and dry air help new seals stick to the road surface. 

Why not over winter?

Undertaking major construction and resurfacing work in Southland from May to October is not normally recommended due to the cooler temperatures. However, to complete these projects as soon as possible, earthworks, drainage, and some early pavement work is already underway, says Mr Reid.

“More than 35 single lane kilometres of state highways in Southland will be resurfaced and another 20 lane kilometres reconstructed before May next year,” he says. “This will improve people’s journeys on our state highways.

“People also need to be aware that to do this work particularly if reconstruction is required, it will be significantly disruptive due to the length of construction and the traffic management required to keep crew and road users safe.”

Southland road reconstructions, all weather-dependent, for 2023/24 include:

  • SH1 Waipahi highway 6 west of Pukerau, already underway
  • SH93 Old Coach Road near Mataura, beginning early September
  • SH1 Edendale Woodlands highway near Dacre, beginning September
  • SH98 Lorne Dacre Road near Mill Road North, beginning October
  • SH96 Wreys Bush-Nightcaps highway, beginning November
  • SH96 Wreys Bush-Winton highway, beginning November
  • SH96 Winton-Hedgehope highway, beginning November/December
  • SH94 Mossburn-Lumsden highway, beginning December
  • SH94 Lumsden-Riversdale highway, beginning January
  • SH6 Lumsden Dipton highway, beginning February
  • SH94 Te Anau Mossburn highway near Mossburn, beginning February

Planned asphalt resurfacing projects include: SH99 at Thornbury and Argyle Corner; SH96 at Wreys Bush; SH1 and SH96 intersection south of Mataura; SH1 Clyde St intersection with Bond St; and SH6 Dee St between Victoria Ave and Arthur Streets.  These asphalt resurfacing projects will be disruptive to road users, however will be of short duration, says Mr Reid.

“Some of the resurfacing work will be done overnight to minimise delays in busier day-time periods for people on busy roads. We will stop work before major holiday travel periods like Christmas and New Year to minimise disruption to journeys.”

Highways South acknowledges that this work will cause disruption for road users and appreciates the patience of our community.  If there are concerns or questions, road users can call 03 211 1561 to speak with the Highways South team, or sign up for email updates regarding interruptions and possible delays on Southland highways via our Facebook page.

Highways South Facebook page(external link)