The NZ Transport Agency has largely completed the first stage of pavement renewal and resurfacing on the southbound lane on a section of State Highway 1 near Paekakariki, and work will resume next week after the Easter break.
NZTA operations manager Mark Owen says the NZTA has laid a temporary seal surface to the southbound lane immediately south of MacKay's Crossing, to provide a safe driving surface for Easter weekend. Work is on hold over Easter to ensure delays are kept to a minimum during the busy holiday weekend period.
Mr Owen says crews will finish sweeping and roadmarking today with a 50km/hr temporary speed restriction remaining in place while the new seal settles down. After the peak hour traffic has gone through tomorrow morning the surface will get a final sweep and the temporary speed limit removed to allow traffic to travel at normal posted speed limits and in time for the commencement of the Easter holiday traffic departing Wellington before lunchtime tomorrow.
"We appreciate that people's time is precious and that these delays are frustrating, and we're grateful to motorists for their patience while this very important work is carried out. The reality is that some delays are unavoidable when resurfacing a busy highway, and our crews are burning the midnight oil and working as the weather allows to ensure disruption during the day is kept to a minimum. Nonetheless, we ask that people allow an extra half an hour for their journeys during peak times while we're doing this work."
"The good news is that we only need to do this work once very few years, so once we get these roadworks out of the way, people will have a fresh, safer road surface that won't need to be replaced for some time."
The final surface will be towards the end of April, once the new pavement and surface has 'bedded in'. Work on the northbound lane will also commence next week.
Mr Owen says motorists can expect further delays next week as the NZTA works on the northbound lane, and while this work will be carried out at night, there will be temporary speed restrictions of 50km/hr during the day as vehicles need to travel at lower speeds over fresh road surfaces.