NZTA urges care as highway clean-up continues


The NZ Transport Agency is urging all drivers to take extreme care as its road maintenance crews continue to work with emergency services and local authorities to clear storm damage from state highways and roads in Auckland and Northland.

Flood waters closed State Highway 1 in the Dome Valley between Warkworth and Wellsford just after nine o'clock this morning. Care is needed using the diversion route along SH16 because of storm damage, and stop/go traffic management is operating at the community of Araparera. Northbound drivers can access SH16 from the Silverdale interchange on the Northern Motorway, and southbound travellers are being diverted on to SH16 at Wellsford.

"Driving conditions are still very tricky," says the NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker. "We are getting roads re-opened elsewhere in the region but flood waters, slips, and storm debris littering roads still pose a serious risk for drivers."

"If people delayed their holiday travel until the storm had passed and they are heading off today we would remind them of the need to continue to take care, not only for the safety of themselves and their passengers, but for the safety of those people still involved in clean-up operations."

Sections of all state highways in Northland were affected by the storm. The NZTA says it had placed extra maintenance crews on standby and they were in action during the night when the storm peaked.

"Their actions overnight enabled us to get many highways re-opened or partially re-opened quickly, but while the clean-up continues and the storm continues to have an impact I would urge people to drive to the conditions so that they reach their destination safely," says Mr Parker.