Manual traffic controllers will be on site during peak hours at the State Highway 5 / State Highway 36 Ngongotahā roundabout to improve traffic flow and help ease recent travel delays in the area.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Acting Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Jo Wilton says motorists have experienced considerable delays as part of the State Highway 5 Tarukenga to Ngongotahā safety and SH5/SH36 roundabout improvements project.
“Last Thursday, we made one of our first changes to the road layout and reduced the speed through the work site to 30km/h. While some delays were expected as people adjusted to the new layout, these have been greater than expected, particularly during peak times.”
Motorists are experiencing delays between 7.30am and 8:30am and again between 4.30pm and 5.30pm Monday to Thursday. On Friday afternoons traffic is building earlier from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.
“We understand people’s frustrations and have since trialled manual traffic controls during peak hours, which has seen a positive impact on traffic flow.
“Our team will continue to actively monitor and respond to traffic queues on site, and we encourage people plan ahead and travel outside of peak where possible,” says Ms Wilton.
The SH5/SH36 free flow (slip) lane remains closed to westbound (Tirau/Hamilton) traffic leaving Rotorua. All westbound traffic is using the existing roundabout for this turn. The slip lane will remain closed until the detour via Western Road is put in place.
The road layout change and manual traffic controls are expected to be in place for up to three weeks.
“Please take extra care, reduce your speed and follow directions of traffic management staff and signage,” Ms Wilton says.
Once the project is complete, this busy stretch of state highway will be safer and the roundabout improvements will accommodate more traffic.
Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience during this time.
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