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NZ Transport Agency urges drivers to switch lights on through the TerraceTunnel

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The NZ Transport Agency is urging drivers to switch their headlights on for safety while refurbishment work is carried out in the Terrace Tunnel.

NZ Transport Agency Wellington State Highway manager Rod James says the last of the tunnel's existing lights are to be removed on Sunday evening to enable the tunnel's false ceiling to be removed as part of the its upgrade.

"Drivers will notice that the tunnel is darker, and we are asking people to turn on their headlights before entering the tunnel in daylight hours."

Additional signage will also be in place outside the tunnel to remind motorists to keep their lights on.

Mr James also urged drivers to comply with the temporary 60km/h speed limit and watch their following distances while the upgrade work continues.

"The temporary speed restriction is there to ensure the safety of everyone using the tunnel while this work is carried out. It is particularly important as winter draws closer and rain becomes more common as it is more difficult for people to stop quickly in wet weather."

Lighting in the tunnel began changing earlier this year as demolition of the old tunnel systems progressed. The tunnel refurbishment will include the installation of a new lighting system to improve the transition from external daylight to artificial tunnel lighting.

Mr James says the NZTA is pleased with progress to date on the Terrace Tunnel refurbishments, and he thanked drivers for their patience while the work is carried out. The tunnel upgrade work also includes:

  • removal of all existing tunnel equipment
  • a new deluge system and jet fans to improve the tunnel's ability to manage potential fires
  • improved ventilation from the new jet fans
  • a new drainage system
  • two tunnel control buildings to operate all the new equipment
  • new electronic signage to provide more information on road conditions.

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