The NZ Transport Agency has decided that it will now work 24 hours seven days a week so that it can complete construction of the Kamo bypass intersection with Western Hills Drive on State Highway 1 in Whangarei a lot sooner than originally planned.
Today's decision could shave between a week and a week-and-a-half off the original four week construction timetable, depending on the weather.
"We are taking this action so that any disruption to drivers and to people living near this busy intersection is kept to a minimum," says Brett Gliddon, the NZTA's Northern Corridor Manager. "With the increased hours of work, we would ask all drivers to take extra care not only for the safety of themselves and their passengers, but also for the safety of our contractors delivering this project for the benefit of the Whangarei community."
Mr Gliddon says drivers had already adapted well to the changed driving conditions at the intersection and the NZTA regretted any hold-ups.
"Unfortunately delays could continue until construction is finished because of the work involved and the volume of traffic. Drivers should allow a little extra time for their journeys, particularly when traffic is busiest in the morning and late afternoon."
Traffic management plans and diversions remain in place to help drivers. Traffic is diverted to either Percy Street or Kamo Road depending on the work being undertaken. There will be no roadside parking on Percy Street during May, and temporary traffic signals are being erected on Percy Street to manage the flow of state highway traffic using this route. Drivers can help keep traffic flowing by following the marked diversion routes or altering their travel plans to avoid the area during peak times if possible.
"We have spoken to people living near the intersection and assured them that everything will be done to keep noise levels down, particularly at night," adds Mr Gliddon.
Mr Gliddon says that construction of the bypass remains ahead of schedule, and is due to be completed at the end of the year. Stage two of the Kamo Bypass will provide a high quality connection on SH1 between Western Hills Drive and the existing bypass north of Kamo Road. The bypass will provide an alternative to busy Kamo Road, move traffic away from the city centre and provide much better management of traffic in the northern suburbs of Whangarei.