The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is temporarily closing down its road works activities in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions over the Christmas/New Year period to reduce inconvenience for motorists as the holiday season gets underway.
NZTA state highway managers, Kaye Clark (Waikato) and Brett Gliddon (Bay of Plenty) say the move is part of the Agency’s annual shutdown of its maintenance works, which recognises that the bulk of holiday travel happens over Christmas and New Year.
"Maintaining and repairing the region’s roads is an integral part of the NZTA’s focus on Safer Journeys for all road users, which includes safer roads and roadsides as one of its four key ‘safe system’ focus points (the others being safe speeds; safe vehicles; and safe drivers)," says Mrs Clark.
"However, we do want to ensure people are not unduly inconvenienced during the busiest holiday traffic period of the year – so we’re shutting down road works as we head into the Christmas/New Year break."
Mr Gliddon says although road crews will not be in action during the shutdown period, some road work sites in shutdown mode will still require extra attention and care from motorists passing through. "These locations will still have unmanned traffic management in place – so we’d ask that people be aware of these sites and take note of signage and any speed restrictions and traffic controls in place."
Both encourage motorists to take a moment to plan their journey before they travel these holidays, using the NZTA’s free information online or by phone. "Remember to ensure your vehicle is warranted, registered and in a safe condition before you head out. Don’t drive when you’ve been driving or taking medication or other drugs – and take regular breaks on your trip to avoid driving while fatigued," says Mrs Clark.
The NZTA’s website is regularly updated with details on road works, closures and detour information at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic. This information is also available by phoning the NZTA’s freephone on 0800 4HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49), which can also be used to report any significant road issues or hazards which people may come across during their travels.
Waikato and Bay of Plenty state highway road works or project sites which will still have unmanned signage and/or speed restrictions in place during the Christmas/New Year break are listed below: Most of the road works shut downs will take place from Friday 21 December through to Monday 7 January next year, inclusive, except where noted otherwise in some of the locations listed below.
For more details see the Waikato Expressway Facebook page at www.facebook.com/waikatoexpressway(external link).
A temporary speed restriction of 80km/h is in place around the State Highway 2/33 Whakatane/Rotorua intersection.
A temporary speed restriction of 50km/h is in place and the slip lane is closed for State Highway 2 traffic travelling from Te Puke towards Tauranga, traffic is diverted through the roundabout.
A temporary speed restriction of 80km/h is in place.
A temporary road diversion and speed restriction of 50km/h is in place at the end of the sealed section of Pah Road, including a road diversion and speed restriction of 50km/h in a portion of the unsealed section.
Location: Roughly half way between the Omokoroa intersection and Katikati.
What to expect: A 80km/h speed restriction is in place.
Location: Waioeka Gorge, between Opotiki and Gisborne.
What to expect: Two lanes of traffic will be operating however a section of the road through the construction site is rough and a 30 km/h speed limit is in place. Motorists are advised not to stop through this construction site area.
Location: Roughly halfway down the lake or 1km Rotorua side of Okataina Rd.
What to expect: 400m stretch of SH30 restricted to one lane with a concrete safety barrier. Permanent traffic signals exist to control the one way flows. Drivers should expect up to 10min delays and to follow signs and signals until further notice.