Repair work on the Takaka Hill highway, State Highway 60, between Riwaka and Golden Bay has gone well in recent days. “Crews have been making good progress while the weather has been dry, clearing the road and making it safer and more resilient, which will enable truck and trailer units to make the journey soon,” says Frank Porter, NZ Transport Agency System Manager.
“We know that freight providers and farmers need these truck and trailer units to get across the hill efficiently and that the single trucks’ restriction is adding to costs.”
Although there is no confirmed date at this stage for opening up the highway to trucks with trailer units, and over-dimension vehicles, the Transport Agency is hopeful it could be in two weeks’ time.
“Thanks to everyone for being patient while we work to get Takaka Hill repaired and safe for everyone to use again,” says Mr Porter.
Opening hours - same open hours continue this week
Currently the road open hours are Monday to Saturday inclusive, mornings and nights only, 7-8 am and 5-6 pm. People are encouraged to arrive as close to 7 am and 5 pm to reduce their waiting time and get through as quickly as possible.
On Sundays, people can travel by convoy all day 8 am to 5 pm as the crews have a day off repairs.
Extending the open hours – soon
The Transport Agency is aiming to offer extended opening hours in coming days ie earlier in the morning and later in the evenings. This will allow more traffic to travel over the hill, but still allow the same time for crews to repair the road during the day.
The Transport Agency will communicate any changes to people as soon as they are confirmed and the Traffic and Travel page information(external link) will also be updated.
Easter opening hours - open each day, all day
After Easter hours and access - Tuesday, 3 April onwards
The Transport Agency is aiming to open up the road to be used normally, without convoys, outside of the daytime construction work, ie outside of 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, including overnight. “Repairs will be ongoing for some time and they cannot be undertaken safely or efficiently while there is traffic on the road,” says Mr Porter.
This planned timetable to move beyond the convoy system is dependent on good weather in coming weeks, he says.
Try not to make up time, arrive on time for least delays
Frank Porter reiterated the need for people to take care once they are beyond Takaka Hill and not speed up to make up time. “We have had reports from our crews that some people are not driving to the speed limits once they are over the hill. Please, get home safely, and drive to the conditions.”
Mr Porter also reminded drivers that crews are unable to give priority to some people in the queue over others. “We will work to get everyone waiting over, and our crews are there to get people over as quickly as is safely possible. If it is urgent, arrive on time.”
Traffic and travel pages for convoy information which will be updated when arrangements change: http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/areawarnings/202314(external link)
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