Top of the South roadworkers gear up for busy summer programme 


Waka Kotahi is gearing up for a busy summer with a lot of work scheduled across the Top of the South Island to improve the region's highways.

Rob Service, System Manager – Top of the South, says road users will notice more road crews and work sites over the next few months when travelling.

"We are doing as much work as possible between now and mid-December to reduce the impact on people's journeys during the busy holiday season. It means there will be an increase in activity across the region over the next few months."

"This year's maintenance programme aims to renew around 140 lane kilometres on local state highways. It means our contractors will spend more time working on the roads, but their mahi will see drivers get safer, smoother journeys," Mr Service says.

Last year, following the August floods, work focussed on two large sites that accounted for almost half of the summer programme. 

But this year, Mr Service says road renewal treatments will be applied to several smaller sites spread across the top of the South Island.

They include SH60 between Appleby and Motueka, Three Brothers corner at the junction of SH6 and SH60, SH60 Takaka Hill, SH6 Whakatu Drive, SH6 Foxhill, SH6 Hope Saddle and SH1 Weld Pass. 

Most of the work will be done under night closures or stop/go traffic management to minimise disruption. Further information will be provided to the public before the projects begin.

And Mr Service says there's more than just the summer maintenance work to do.

"We have resilience work on the Whangamoas, the Dellow's Bluff underslip, and critical sites to fix on Marlborough Sounds roads. Along with proactive resilience work and other safety improvement projects, there will be a lot happening on our state highways across the region."

Mr Service says the large amount of work means its important drivers check road conditions before they travel. 

"Use the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner. It has all the information you need to ensure you can get to where you're going, including information on road works and expected time delays. Its information and advice are essential if you have crucial connections to make as there may be multiple work sites on longer journeys."

Mr Service acknowledges that roadworks often coincide with people's holiday plans – but there's a good reason for it.

"This is because road renewals and re-sealing has to be completed during the warmer, drier months, the same time New Zealanders and visitors from overseas are travelling on our state highways."

"Whenever you come up to a worksite, remember that our road workers are doing their best to complete their work and keep you moving at the same time. Please be respectful and follow their advice and instructions," Mr Service says.

Summer maintenance programme – additional information:  

  • There may be delays on key routes. Drivers should check road conditions before they travel. 
  • The Waka Kotahi Journey Planner provides all the information you need to plan your trip. 
    Journey Planner(external link) 
  • Key holiday periods are kept free of roadworks to help ease the pressure on peak travel periods.  
  • Two-thirds of the summer maintenance programme is expected to be completed by mid-December 2023, with the remaining third programmed to be carried out between mid-January and late-March 2024.   

Main project locations (multiple other smaller works will also be happening across the region):

  • SH6 Whakatu Drive, Nelson
  • SH1 Weld Pass, Marlborough
  • SH6/60 Three Brothers roundabout, Tasman
  • SH6 Hope Saddle, Tasman
  • SH60 – between Appleby and Motueka, Tasman
  • SH6 Foxhill, Tasman
  • SH60 Takaka Hill, Tasman