The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) advises drivers there will be diversions on the Northern Gateway Toll Road (State Highway 1) next Tuesday and Wednesday (12 and 13 February) because of annual maintenance and safety work in the Johnstones Hill tunnels.
The toll road will remain open at all times, but one of the two tunnels will be closed on either the Tuesday or Wednesday and traffic diverted through the other tunnel.
The northbound tunnel will be closed from 4am on Tuesday (12 February) until 4am Wednesday and people driving north will use the southbound tunnel. On Wednesday (13 February) the southbound tunnel will be closed from 4am until 6am Thursday morning and drivers going south diverted into the northbound tunnel.
“Drivers need to be aware of diversions and speed restrictions as they approach the tunnels and take extra care in the tunnels themselves, which they will be sharing with oncoming traffic,” says the NZTA’s State Highways manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.
“We regret the disruption, but the diversions will allow us to keep this important highway open for all drivers. The closures are necessary to ensure the tunnels are kept in a good and safe condition for all road users,” Mr Parker says. “As the state-of-the-art tunnels have sophisticated safety measures, it is important that they are regularly checked and maintained at a high level.”
The tunnel safety features include 12 extraction fans, 1280 lights, 14 emergency equipment cabinets, two cross passages to move people from one tunnel to the other if there’s an emergency, a deluge fire system, a pa system and 10 cctv cameras to monitor traffic. The tunnel control system is monitored 24 hours daily from the Joint Transport Control Centre at Takapuna.
During the maintenance programme, NZTA contractors, the Auckland Motorway Alliance and emergency services will conduct a small scale emergency exercise in the southbound tunnel on Wednesday night.
The NZTA reminds drivers that they also have the choice of using two alternatives routes: the Hibiscus Coast Highway between Puhoi, Orewa and the Silverdale interchange on SH1, and SH16 between Wellsford and the Silverdale interchange.
For updates and information about these works, or any other motorway issues please call Auckland Motorways on 09 5200 200.