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SH1 Desert Road closure on hold, new date pending

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The State Highway 1-Desert Road closure which was scheduled for Thursday 15 March has been placed on hold and a new date is to be confirmed.

The road will be closed to enable the concrete deck to be poured on the Waihohonu Stream Bridge. The bridge was damaged in a crash last year.

NZTA Waikato Transport Systems Manager, Karen Boyt, says the closure of the desert Road has now been postponed after a problem with the scaffolding was spotted during the final health and safety check.

“We understand the closure of the Desert Road has a major impact on people and business and we’d like to apologise in advance for the delay and the uncertainty this has caused.

“However we take the safety of our workers and the public very seriously and we need to ensure the site is safe so the work can proceed.

“People should continue to check our website or call us before they leave for their journey so they’re aware of what’s ahead of them,” Ms Boyt says.

The contractor is working as swiftly as possible to ensure the scaffolding is fully compliant with health and safety regulations.

Earlier dates have been postponed because of bad weather. Pouring concrete in wet weather can have environmental and safety impacts.

Another similar 36-hour closure is scheduled for mid to late April, this will also be weather permitting.

Outside of the closure times people can expect the bridge to be down to one lane, with some short closures of around 5 minutes. There is a 30km/h limit in place.

The alternative route is State Highways 46, 47, 4, and 49. This detour is not suitable for vehicles over 46 tonnes, apart from 50MAX which is permitted.

There are also multiple maintenance work sites on the Desert Road during this period and  delays are possible at other sites.

High productivity motor vehicles can use the SH3 and SH3A route between Hamilton and Bulls.

Vehicles with over-weight loads or over-dimension loads wider than 3.0 metres are unable to use the Desert Road section of SH1 until the bridge repairs are complete in April.

The closure dates are subject to fine weather. Updates will be posted at the sites below.

People can check all current road closures here:

http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/(external link)

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