Allow extra time for State Highway 3 journeys these school holidays and beyond


Motorists travelling on State Highway 3 between Waikato and Taranaki these school holidays and beyond are encouraged to allow extra time for their journeys, with multiple road works underway.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Waikato Systems Manager Cara Lauder says as the Transport Agency focuses on improving the roads, increasing safety and making people’s journeys more enjoyable, there are a number of sites on SH3 with traffic management in place.

“State Highway 3 is a hive of activity at the moment, with lots of work underway. While we try to keep inconveniences and delays to a minimum, we urge motorists to be patient and recommend they allow extra time for journeys between Waikato and Taranaki.”

The Awakino Tunnel Bypass is currently the main construction site on State Highway 3. This 2.3km project involves building two bridges to take traffic away from the single-lane tunnel and includes a northbound passing lane.

Most of the bypass work is happening away from the main highway, so overall disruption is expected to be at a minimum through to the scheduled completion date of mid-2021. Retaining walls are currently being built at either end of the site, with traffic down to one lane and controlled by lights.

Other SH3 works currently underway include:

  • Barrier installation at Tongapurutu with stop/go traffic management in place for one day near the middle of the school holidays.
  • Retaining wall construction at Mangaotaki and the Awakino Gorge. Both are scheduled to be finished before Christmas.
  • Resealing and repair works in the Awakino Gorge. These works should be completed before Christmas.
  • Resealing works at various sites between Mokau and New Plymouth.
  • General road maintenance work around Te Kuiti and northern communities

Waka Kotahi will continue to provide traffic bulletins for individual pieces of work on the State Highway 3 corridor, as appropriate.

Ms Lauder encouraged motorists to stick to the signposted speed limits and be patient when driving through road works sites.

“We want to keep everyone safe when driving through road work sites, and that includes our road workers.

“Waka Kotahi thanks the public for their patience while we carry out this important work.”

Awakino Tunnel Bypass project – The existing tunnel on the left will be bypassed by two bridges across the Awakino River.

Image: Awakino Tunnel Bypass project – The existing tunnel on the left will be bypassed by two bridges across the Awakino River.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: