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Traffic expected to be heavier than usual as people head home after school holidays, allow extra time when travelling

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The NZ Transport Agency is encouraging motorists travelling around the Waikato, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty this weekend to plan ahead and allow for delays.

Traffic is expected to be much heavier than normal on state highways around the regions as the school holidays come to an end and people head back home.

On some highways, such as SH1 between Auckland and the Waikato and SH2 between Paeroa and Tauranga vehicle numbers are expected to increase significantly and it is important that motorists are prepared for delays, are patient, and drive to the conditions.

The Transport Agency’s regional performance manager, Karen Boyt says the combination of more vehicles on the road, driver fatigue and other stressful things like adverse weather and traffic delays contribute to making travel riskier during the holidays.

“Stress-free journeys are safer journeys so it's important that motorists are patient and ready for the possibility of hold-ups when they travel,” Ms Boyt says.
“Our websites help you plan ahead and choose the best times to travel and routes to avoid delays and reduce stress. Don’t forget, you can also follow us on twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates.”

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

For real time information on highway conditions and incidents or to report issues on the network visit www.nzta.govt.nz call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or follow @nztawaibop on twitter. Or view current travel times on www.drivelive.nz/

Roadworks that are scheduled to start in the next week or are currently underway are also detailed below to help people plan ahead when travelling.
Works are weather dependent and may be postponed if necessary.

Bay of Plenty

SH29/ Takitimu Drive and SH36/Taurikura Drive roundabout upgrade

Motorists are asked to drive with extra care when travelling through the roundabouts over the next month.

Tauranga City Council’s contractor is carrying out works and speed restrictions, lane closures and occasional stop/go traffic management will be in place at times.

SH2 Waioeka Gorge

Transport Agency contractors will be working at various sites in the gorge in July, carrying out drainage improvement works.

Traffic management will be in place and motorists are advised to drive with extra care and expect minor delays.

SH5 south of Rotorua

Motorists are advised to expect delays on SH5 Tumunui as the road is down to one lane and speed restrictions are in place.

Engineers are closely monitoring two cracks which have appeared in the highway. Geotechnical investigations are being carried out to determine the cause of the problem. Drivers are encouraged to use alternative routes such as SH1/SH30 if possible.

Eastern Bay of Plenty

Heavy rain in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has led to an increase in slips and flooding across the road network. Motorists are advised to drive with extra care and attention when travelling in the region, especially in these areas: SH30 Rotorua lakes, SH2 Matata Straights, SH2 Waimana Gorge, SH2 Waioeka Gorge and SH35 North of Opotiki.

Waikato

Waikato Expressway – Rangiriri section

Speed restrictions remain in place along this section of State Highway 1 (SH1) as work on the Rangiriri section continues.
There is a 50km/speed restriction on the approaches to the new main alignment and 70km/h between the Te Kauwhata and Rangiriri bridges. Please respect them. Traffic is still one lane in each direction and will remain so until the project is fully complete.

SH24-Broadway Matamata

Night-time detours will be in place at Matamata next week while work is carried out on the town’s stormwater network.

The Transport Agency advises motorists that contractors will be on site on State Highway 24-Broadway from 8pm to 6am on Wednesday and Thursday 27-28 July.
People wanting to drive to restaurants and other after-hours business will still be able to access Broadway but not via the Arawa Street roundabout.

Light traffic will be detoured around the intersection, while heavy traffic will be detoured using State Highway 27-Firth Street and Burwood Road. The detour for heavy traffic will add approximately five minutes to normal travel time. Detours will be clearly signposted.

Kahikatea Drive-Gallagher Drive traffic lights

Work to install traffic lights at the Kahikatea Drive-Gallagher Drive intersection in Hamilton is about to ramp up, as contractors work to tie in the new lanes and start asphalting.

Transport Agency contractors have spent the last few months completing all of the work they can do behind barriers and now need to move out into the lanes.

The night-time works, which will require lane closures, speed restrictions and stop/go traffic management, will impact traffic. Travellers are advised to expect short delays.

On Friday 22 July, contractors will be reconstructing the southern side of the existing road between Gallagher Drive and the railway lines.

Traffic will be managed through the works under stop/go from 7.30pm on Friday night until 8am on Saturday morning.

The widened intersection at Kahikatea Drive and Gallagher Drive will then be asphalted in sections over several nights from Sunday 24 July to Thursday 28 July.
The asphalting work will involve stop/go each night. During the day the site will be under a speed restriction due to the uneven surface. The works will be carried out between Sunday 31 July and Tuesday 2 August.

The new traffic signals will be installed between 2-4 August, along with road detector loops. As with previous phases of the project works will be undertaken at night under stop/go. The lights are expected to be operating in late August.

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