Central Otago summer highway work underway


Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes District highways have a big season of summer maintenance and repairs ahead, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

The amount of work is just slightly less than last year’s bumper season, the largest on the two districts’ networks in many years.

Aspiring Highways, on behalf of Waka Kotahi, will be delivering road reconstruction and resurfacing projects from now until mid-March, says Peter Standring, Maintenance Contract Manager for Waka Kotahi in Central Otago.  “As daylight hours increase, the warmer temperatures and dry air help new seals stick as intended to the road surface.” 

“While we are pleased to have this work scheduled and people will appreciate the finished result, we ask people to take special care given the number of road crews they may come across on some key routes in and out of Central Otago and around Queenstown and Wanaka,” he says.

As well as the Waka Kotahi highways work there will also be third party private developer projects underway, which can also affect highway travel.

“If people can build in an extra 20 minutes to their journeys, it will help ease the pressure on everyone and reduce the temptation to make up time if there is a short delay.”

He reminds drivers that road crew members appreciate a friendly wave and people slowing down to the posted speed limit near work sites. “Our crews work in all weathers and do their best to make their sites as safe as possible for everyone, including themselves.”

What is happening this summer in Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes Districts on the highways 2023/24?

Overall there is 57km of reseal (or 115 single lane kilometres) starting 6 November with works through until 20 December/ pre-Christmas shut-down. Work will restart 22 January to the end of February 2024 across the two districts.

  • Three pavement renewal (rehabilitation) sites – 2.45kms (just less than 5 lane kms) (sites below).
  • Two asphalt resurfacing sites – 1.25kms (2.5 lane kms) (SH8 Centennial Ave, Alexandra and SH6 Mt Gilray Corner, Kawarau Gorge).

“Where traffic volumes are high we aim to minimise the impact by working at night or outside of peak holiday periods,” says Mr Standring.

Reconstruction projects

These reconstruction projects, all weather dependent, include:

  • SH8 Blue Gums – Tarras, south of the SH8/8A intersection. Mid-September to early October.
  • SH6 Wye Creek, Mid-October to early November.
  • SH6 Chard Rd, February/March 2024.

Resurfacing projects

Some of the planned resurfacing projects will also cause disruption to road users due to their location and will involve significant traffic management, including partial road closures. Some of these works will be done overnight to minimise delays for customers on roads with high traffic volumes:

  • SH6 Kawarau Gorge through to east of the Crown Range intersection
  • SH6 Woolshed Rd intersection, near Jack’s Point, Queenstown.

Roxburgh culvert replacement, 8-day closure of SH8 from early October

Roxburgh, SH8: A third culvert replacement in Roxburgh starts early October. There will be an eight day, 24/7 full road detour around the Black Jack’s Creek site – see details https://www.nzta.govt.nz/media-releases/black-jacks-culvert-the-trifecta-is-almost-complete-in-central-otago/(external link)

  • Residents in places getting high impact highway work should expect to hear about the work in advance through direct letterbox newsletter updates or a chat with the project team.
  • Projects will be co-ordinated with district councils and other third party construction companies wherever possible to minimise conflicts.
  • Road users need to keep an eye out for electronic message boards on highways warning them work is programmed or is ahead on the road.
  • The Waka Kotahi Traffic and Travel page is a good place to check your route before you head off for any planned work sites. https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link)

How to get details, keep up-to-date

If there are concerns or questions around these works, road users can contact the Aspiring Highways team at customer@aspiringhighways.co.nz