The NZ Transport Agency will stop work on most State Highway projects in the Auckland and Northland regions from midday on Friday [October 23] to help provide drivers with a smoother journey to their Labour Weekend holiday destinations.
"People, however, will still need to take care when they drive through construction zones," says the NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker. "Speed restrictions will be in place, and they should be observed to ensure safety on these sections of highway."
Sites where care is needed include:
|SH1||Newmarket viaduct replacement|
|SH1||Victoria Park Tunnel project|
|SH16||Taupaki roundabout improvement, Kumeu|
|SH16||Punganui Stream Bridge replacement, Helensville|
|SH1||Houhora South Rehabilitation - 50Km restriction over 1.2 km|
|SH1||Mangamuka Gorge Patches|
|SH1N||Hikurangi/Jordan Valley Rehab Drainage - 70kmh speed restriction|
|SH10||Bulls Gorge Realignment|
|SH12||Marits Slip - lane closure controlled by traffic signals|
|SH14||Flowers Hill - lane closure controlled by traffic signals|
Mr Parker says highways will be busy as people take advantage of the first holiday weekend after winter, and they should consider planning their journeys to avoid delays. Traffic volumes are expected to build up from Friday afternoon, particularly on SH1 to Warkworth and the eastern beaches. The first stage of SH1 improvements are finished at the south end of Warkworth, which include a new highway layout and traffic signals.
The NZTA reminds motorists using the Northern Gateway Toll Road that they have the choice of either paying before leaving home, or paying within five days after their journey. They can do so online at www.tollroad.govt.nz(external link), or by freephone 0800 40 20 20.
“These options have the big advantage of avoiding the need to stop and queue at the manual payment kiosks which are expected to be busy,” says Mr Parker.
People also have the choice of using SH16 between Auckland and Wellsford. The alternative rural route avoids heavy congestion on sections of SH1 and can be accessed from the Northwestern Motorway [SH16] through Helensville, or from the Silverdale interchange on SH1 north of Auckland.
Holidaymakers heading south on the Southern Motorway will be driving through construction zones at Newmarket, and at Manukau. Speed restrictions will be in place at both locations. .
In Waikato, holidaymakers heading towards Coromandel can expect delays at the Kopu Bridge on SH25 near Thames. If required, an electronic message board at the SH2/25 intersection will direct drivers further down SH2 and follow the sign-posted alternative route to Coromandel on SH26.
Mr Parker reminds motorists using the Kopu Bridge that slowing down to look at progress on the new bridge nearby can cause delays and crashes. Nose to tail crashes are traditionally among the most common type of Labour Weekend crashes around Auckland.
The NZTA will work with police to actively manage traffic on the State Highway network to help people avoid hold-ups. NZTA electronic messages boards will be used to reinforce the Police campaign for a 'fatality-free' long weekend, targeting excessive speed, drink-driving and failure to keep left.
“This is the first break following the start of daylight saving, and the NZTA’s priority is to ensure that everyone has a safe and relaxed journey to their holiday destination and an equally safe and relaxed journey home again,” says Mr Parker.