Winter weather impacts continue to cause sporadic issues across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty state highway network, with rain, wind and snow all making their presence felt in recent weeks.
Some roads have been fully closed, and while this has been disruptive, it’s ensured the safety of road users and crews and allows the clean-up work to progress faster, says Cara Lauder, Waikato System Manager, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
“Winter brings with it a different set of driving skills, and it is important to adjust your driving to suit different road conditions, whether its icy or snow,” says Ms Lauder.
“Drive more slowly than normal, it only takes a split second to lose control in slippery conditions. Avoid sudden braking or turning, it could cause you to skid. Accelerate smoothly and brake gently and leave a gap of four seconds to people ahead of you. When travelling in fog, rain or snow, drive with your headlights dipped for increased visibility and turn your lights on if its foggy.”
Early in September the Tauranga region hosts the Zespri Aims Games where over 20,000 people will descend on the city, including 11,000 students aged 11-13 from all over New Zealand, who will be competing in 25 different sports. The event gets underway on Sunday 3 September at Mercury Arena with the opening ceremonies at 3pm and 7pm. An influx of people to the region will also bring higher traffic volumes to popular venues and is likely to cause potential delays on the main arterial routes in, through and around the city.
We recommend road users check the Journey Planner before heading out to ensure they have the latest up-to-date information on road conditions.
Journey Planner(external link)
Bay of Plenty
- Tauranga Region: The Zespri Aims Games will take place from Saturday 2 to Friday 8 September, with over 11,000 athletes competing. A higher volume of vehicles in the region is expected during this time, with additional delays expected during peak travel periods. More information(external link)
- Takitimu North Link Stage One: A range of construction activities will continue between Te Puna, Bethlehem and Tauriko including Cambridge Road, Harrison Road, Wairoa Road, Minden Road, Loop Road and SH2, throughout the month of July there will be occasional stop/go on Cambridge Road for service relocation work. More information.
- SH2 Bay Link: Overnight road and lane closures are scheduled throughout August to allow works to take place and switch traffic at both the Te Maunga and Bayfair ends of the project. Overnight road and lane closures will apply from approximately 7pm to 6am with detours in place. In August, the Bayfair flyover is expected to close to traffic in both directions at night to allow for the installation of handrails on the bridge. While this work is underway, overnight road closures will apply from approximately 7pm to 6am with detours in place along Maunganui Road at ground level in both directions.
- Later in August, the final ramp of SH2/SH29A Te Maunga intersection is expected to open to road users. All northbound traffic will use the new ramp and the signalised Te Maunga interchange to access Bayfair roundabout or the Bayfair flyover, and SH2 northbound at ground level will close to allow for the area underneath the interchange to be completed. The opening of the remaining ramp will also provide a left turn for road users travelling from Tauranga Eastern Link to SH29A, enabling the removal of the existing detour route via Truman Lane. To open the ramp to road users, overnight road closures of SH2 northbound between Sandhurst interchange and Te Maunga interchange will apply from approximately 7pm to 6am.
- A detour will be available via Sandhurst interchange, Mangatawa Link Road, Truman Lane, the SH29A roundabout and Te Maunga interchange. Changes for road users will continue to be in place on Matapihi Road/Owens Place while the central island is constructed. For the latest information, please visit the Bay Link project's traffic page.
- SH29 Takitimu Drive Toll Road (TDTR): A reduced speed limit of 80km/h will be in place while contractor crews are working behind the barriers.
- SH2 Fifteenth Avenue: From 7pm Friday 4 August to 6am Monday 7 August, contractors will be commissioning the new traffic lights at the Fifteenth Avenue/SH2 intersection. Lane closures will be in place as work is done on all four corners of the intersection and the central medians. Traffic will not be able to cross Cameron Road as the centre of the intersection, between the northbound and southbound lanes of Cameron Road, will be fully closed. Traffic heading from Fifteenth Avenue to SH2 will be diverted along Fraser Street and 17th Avenue, to the northbound lane of Cameron Road to SH2. Traffic heading from SH2 to Fifteenth Avenue will be diverted left onto Cameron Road to Thirteenth Avenue, Devonport Road, to Fifteenth Avenue. These detours will also be in place for eastbound (heading to Fifteenth Avenue) and westbound (heading to SH2) traffic. Detours and digital travel information signs will be in place. This work is being carried out by Tauranga City Council and the Cameron Road Joint Venture and is weather dependent. If commissioning does not occur on this weekend, it will occur from 7pm Friday 18 August to 6am Monday 21 August. More information(external link)
- SH2 Chapel Street: Maintenance on the Chapel Street viaduct continues, from Sunday 13 August to Thursday 17 August, to minimise disruption to the publish this work will be carried out at night.
- SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road (TELTR): For the Tauranga City Council led Pāpāmoa East Interchange construction project, a section of the TELTR, just north of the Kaituna River Bridge, is reduced to three lanes. Whilst earthworks continue on the south side of the road, both eastbound lanes are open and normal speed limits apply. The inner westbound lane is open whilst work continues along the outside lane - the speed limit past the work site is 70km/h. This layout will remain in place until August 2023.
- The Quayside Properties Ltd led Rangiuru Business Park Interchange project continues. Overnight closures will take place from Domain Road to the Paengaroa roundabout, 8.00pm to 6.00am on Monday 28 August for 3 nights to enable installation of bridge beams for the Rangiuru interchange. A detour will be available via the Te Puke highway. Temporary barriers have been installed on both sides of the TELTR, and these will be in place until approximately October 2023, with one lane available in each direction. A temporary speed limit of 70km/h will apply through the site. More information(external link).
Western Bay of Plenty
- SH2 Waihī to Ōmokoroa: At the Sharp Rd intersection roundabout construction is underway. Lane shifts and speed reductions in place. There will be intermittent stop/go traffic management in place which may cause longer delays, but typically expect minor delays of one to two minutes. Please follow the temporary signs and directions of the traffic management team. Lockington Road / Matahui Road intersection - roundabout construction is underway with lane shifts and speed reductions in place. There will be intermittent stop/go traffic management in place which may cause longer delays, but typically expect minor delays of one to two minutes. Please follow the temporary signs and directions of the traffic management team.
- SH2 Wairoa Cycleway: The Tauranga City Council cycleway construction continues with work taking place both under the Wairoa bridge and in the on-road shoulder at night. The cycleway is due to be completed in August 2023.
- SH30 Eastern Corridor Stage Two: There are multiple active worksites on SH30/Te Ngae Road between Iles Road and Ōwhata Road. In places the temporary traffic management includes stop/go, lane shifts and shoulder closures, temporary pedestrian crossings, temporary signalised crossings, footpath closures, and/or reduced speed limits. From Sunday 6 August there will be a full closure of the eastbound lanes on SH30/Te Ngae Road for up to five weeks. All eastbound traffic – including heavy haulage – will be required to turn left at Vaughan Road and follow detours to Ōwhata roundabout. In conjunction with the eastbound diversion, a full road closure at night is required from Monday 7 August to Friday 11 August for the Basley Road/Te Ngae Road Intersection between the hours of 8pm to 5am. All traffic will detour via Vaughan Road. Moderate traffic delays are expected. Access for local residents and businesses will be maintained at all times. More information(external link)
- SH30/SH33 Te Ngae Junction: Construction of the new roundabout continues. Temporary traffic management will be in place as needed including speed restrictions, stop/go, lane shifts and shoulder closures while the final stages of construction are completed. Road sealing is programmed for October. More information(external link).
- SH33 Paengaroa: Slip repair will be undertaken near Maungarangi Road. Work will take place between Monday 31 July and Sunday 30 August from 6.00am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday each week. One land in both directions will be available during working hours.
- SH33 Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa: Work on the SH33 safety improvements project continues with work between Allport Road and Mourea. Temporary traffic management will be in place including stop/go, lane shifts and shoulder closures while these works are underway. Minor traffic delays are expected. More information(external link).
- SH30 Te Ngae Junction to Whakatāne: From Monday 14 August contractors will be installing new speed limit signs along the state highway. This work is expected to take 2-3 weeks. While this work is underway there may be shoulder closures and a temporary speed limit in place. More information(external link)
- SH30 Rotomā: There are two slips between Matahi Road and SH34 Kawerau Road. Heavy commercial vehicles may travel eastbound through the site, however westbound must detour via SH34 Military Road, SH2 and SH33 back to SH30. All light vehicles can use SH30 as normal. This detour will add approximately 40 minutes to journey times. Stop/go traffic management is in place at the western slip. Road users are urged to drive with caution. Rotorua Lakes Council have closed Manawahe Road and Pongakawa Valley Road due to rising lake levels.
- SH36 Mangorewa Gorge: Due to a slip on State Highway 36 Mangorewa Gorge (Tauranga Direct Road), approximately 500 metres south of the Mangorewa Track Carpark, caution is advised when driving through this area. A temporary speed limit remains in place while repair options are still being assessed.
Eastern Bay of Plenty
- SH2 Manganuku Bridge, Waioeka Gorge: After planned testing on the Manganuku Bridge, further investigations are required. The reduced speed limit of 30km/h for heavy vehicles will remain in place until results are determined. Heavy vehicles must adhere to the speed limit as those travelling at higher speeds will exert greater loads on the structure, which currently poses a significant risk.
- SH38 Murupara: Due to an underslip north of Murupara township priority give way has been set up whilst geotechnical investigations are carried out.
- SH2 Wainui to Ōpōtiki: Safety improvements between Wainui Road and Woodlands Road near Opotiki continue. This work is expected to be complete in late-2023 (weather dependent). Works consists of shoulder widening and the installation of safety barriers. During this time road users can expect to see shoulder closures and/or stop/go operations in place, as required. Works will take place between 7am and 5pm each weekday. Please allow extra time for your journey as delays up to 10 minutes may be experienced.
Tairāwhiti Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay
- SH2 Waioeka Gorge: Foam bitumen stabilisation and asphalt programmes have been on hold due to weather. Asphalt resurfacing recommences in August, with road closures taking place from Monday 7 August, between the hours of 7pm and 5am each night, Monday to Thursday. Foam bitumen stabilisation recommences in September.
- SH5 Napier – Taupō: Progress continues at a number of slip sites at the Hawke’s Bay end of SH5. Stop/go traffic management is in place at various sites, along with temporary speed limits.
- SH4 Te Oreore slip: Following a slip in 2019, a temporary road is in place at Te Oreore, with a 30km/h temporary speed limit in place. Construction of three new retaining walls north of the main slip area are ongoing.
- SH25 Ruamahunga: The road is now open to two-way traffic, with a 50km/h temporary speed limit in place. Contractors will continue to monitor and clear slip material as required.
- SH25 Opoutere: An underslip has caused significant damage to the road structure. The road is now open to two lanes on a temporary surface. Pavement construction will take place when weather allows. More information.
- SH25 temporary speed limits: From Friday August 11 temporary speed limits will be put in place for sections of SH25 to manage safety risks due to an increase in traffic, following the closure of SH25A. The new speeds will come into force in each location as signage is installed over a period of six to eight weeks. More information(external link)
- SH25A Kōpū-Hikuai: A section of road near the summit has collapsed, and the road is impassable. Detour via SH26, SH2, SH25 via the Karangahake Gorge, or SH25 via Coromandel Town. Work to construct a bridge over the slip area is underway, and the bridge is expected to be open in March 2024.
- SH1 Ātiamuri: Side and median barriers have been installed on a 4.5km stretch of highway south of Ātiamuri. Both north and south-bound lanes are restricted to 70km/h until later this year when finishing works and final surfacing can be completed in warmer weather. More information(external link).
- SH41 Tokaanu: Due to a washout, the road is down to one lane under temporary traffic lights, with a 30km/h temporary speed restriction in place.
- SH1 Waikato Expressway - Ngāruawāhia Section: Safety improvements and remedial works require the closure of a single lane in each direction with a 50km/h temporary speed limit, until completion in May 2024. More information(external link).
- SH1C Hillcrest: Work at the SH1C/Cambridge Road roundabout continues with at least one lane available in each direction. A temporary speed limit of 30km/h is in place at all times. Cambridge Road and Johnsview Terrace are operating as left in/left out only. Please use the SH1C/Wairere Drive interchange to access Cambridge Road and the Hillcrest shops. This work sees the intersection changed to traffic light controls, and is expected to be completed by late August 2023. More information.
- SH1 Cambridge to Piarere: The first turnaround bay, which is part of crucial safety improvements underway on State Highway 1 between Cambridge and Piarere, has been completed. The turnaround, at the intersection of SH1 and Hydro Road, was finished ahead of schedule. Now that the turnaround is complete, the intersection returns to its usual operation - with drivers able to turn both left and right, in and out of Hydro Road at SH1. The right turn out of Hydro Road onto SH1 will remain in place until the next turnaround north of Hickey Road is constructed later in the year. At that point, the right turn out of Hydro Road will permanently close (but the right turn in will remain).
- SH30 Te Kuiti: Due to a slip, priority give-way is in place near Mangaokewa Road, motorists are advised to proceed with caution.
- SH30 Kopaki: Due to a drop out between Kopaki Road and Ohirea Road intersection there is stop/go traffic management in place with a temporary speed limit of 30 km/hr. Remedial works have started and are expected to be completed by the end of August. Caution is advised when travelling through this area.
- SH43 Aukopae: Due to a wash out, there is 30km/h speed restriction in place.
- SH3 Awakino Gorge: Remedial works continue at SH3 in the Awakino Gorge to reinstate the road corridor after heavy rainfall caused a culvert to collapse in May, causing a large underslip. Late in June crews will be completing pavement repairs under stop/go traffic controls, followed by sealing of the site in the subsequent weeks (weather permitting). Crews will then return to site, after the new seal has settled to complete asphalt resurfacing of the site to ensure its longevity.
- SH3 Te Ara Tutohu Waitara to Bell Block: Due to safety improvement works, there will be stop/go traffic management with a 30km/h speed limit in place on weekdays between 7am and 5:30pm Delays of up to 10 minutes are expected.
- For up to 48 hours following completion of chipseal sites, a 50km/h temporary speed limit will be in place until the road is swept and line marking reinstated.
The above information is accurate at the time of release. Many of the above works are dependent on a number of factors, particularly weather, and may be postponed at short notice. For up-to-date information on road works, traffic, detours and delays, motorists are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website.
Journey Planner(external link)
Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience while we complete this essential work to keep the state highway network safe, accessible and resilient.