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Taranaki state highway works resuming under Alert Level 3


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says state highway works in Taranaki will resume from today (Tuesday 28 April), as the country moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

While some essential state highway maintenance work has continued during the lockdown in order to keep the network safe for the movement of essential goods and to support lifeline functions, all non-essential maintenance work and capital project work was stopped with the move to Alert Level 4 on March 26.

Taranaki System Manager Ross I’Anson says the safety of workers and road users is Waka Kotahi’s top priority, and we're working with contractors on specific COVID-19 plans for each of our work sites. Every one of these plans will align with the strict industry standards provided by Construction Health and Safety NZ.

“The transition back to on-site work will be different for every project, and the timing will depend on the nature and complexity of work sites. Some on-site activity will be able to resume straight away, but it will take time for some sites and projects to be fully operational.”

Some Taranaki state highway works that will be undertaken in Level 3 include:

  • SH3 Awakino to Mt Messenger safety and resilience works 
    Slope stability works in the Awakino Gorge have restarted and construction of the passing lane at Ladies Mile is expected to restart next week.
  • SH44 Moturoa safety improvements (New Plymouth)
    Work to improve the intersection at Moturoa will restart on 5 May.
  • Vivian Street ducting work (New Plymouth)
    Trenches for traffic light power cables will be installed at the intersection of Vivian and Morley streets from this week. This work will be carried out between 9.30am and 4pm for a period of five days. Lane closures and detours will be in place.
  • SH3 Rugby Road drainage works
    Night works to address drainage issues at the Rugby Road underpass will start early May for approximately eight weeks. Stop/go traffic management will be in place and motorists are advised to expect delays.
  • Pohokura Retaining Wall
    Work to repair a slip on SH43 is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of May.

Additional maintenance work will also resume across Taranaki, with Waka Kotahi’s contractors working hard to make the most of reduced traffic on the roads under Alert Level 3.

Mr I’Anson says work at Alert Level 3 will not look like pre-pandemic work.

“A range of new measures will need to be in place, including restricted access to sites, requirements for workers to maintain physical distancing, and the use of additional protective clothing.

“At all Waka Kotahi sites, crews will go through a COVID-19 induction and learn the new practices and protocols (for that site/project) to keep them, the surrounding community and road users safe.

“Crews will form small working ‘bubbles’ who will stick together throughout the day while maintaining safe social distance, and where they are working away from home, will also share accommodation and travel bubbles. 

“We are committed to getting New Zealand moving again, but we will not compromise on the safety of road workers or of road users.”

He encouraged people driving through worksites to be patient, cautious and comply with all temporary speed limits to keep workers safe.

“These people are stepping outside of their bubbles to do vital work to keep all of us safe. Please be careful, be kind and do your part to ensure they make it home safe at the end of the day.”

For further information on the resumption of state highway work see our COVID-19 Roadworks and projects FAQ page(external link).

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