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Work begins in January for a smoother Raumati Straights

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The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to expect changes on State Highway 1 between Mackays Crossing and Raumati in the New Year as the Raumati Straights Upgrade kicks up a gear.

Transport Agency Wellington highways manager Neil Walker says crews will soon be taking advantage of the quiet January period to start work improving bumpy section of the highway between Mackays Crossing and Raumati, which will seamlessly link the Mackays to Peka Peka (M2PP) Expressway with Transmission Gully. Preparatory work has been completed, with the median barrier recently removed to allow extra room to work while allowing traffic to flow smoothly.

The main works  will begin on 5 January 2016 and will take around nine months.

“We’re starting at this time of year so motorists can get used to road changes gradually, at a time when the highway is less busy,” says Mr Walker.

“It’s a big job, but it’s been carefully planned to have only a minor effect on most motorists.  We’re predicting that average drive times for commuters will increase by no more than 70 seconds while works are underway. However, there will be significant changes to the road over the nine months, so we’re asking drivers to stay alert and be ready for changes,” says Wellington regional highways manager Neil Walker.

“We’re aiming to minimise the impact on road users by doing as much work as possible at night. However, there will be a 70km/h speed limit on sections of the road during the day.” 

Among the changes for motorists effective 5 January onwards:

  • 70 km/h daytime speed limit
  • two southbound lanes (closest to rail tracks) operating on weekday mornings to keep commuter traffic flowing during peak hour
  • One northbound lane will be out of action at most times
  • night works as required, with 50 and 30 km/h speed limits at times
  • changes to the road layout as each stage of work is completed

The upgrade involves rebuilding and reshaping the Raumati Straights, which is the 2km stretch of State Highway 1 between Mackays Crossing and Poplar Avenue. 

“This will remove the bumps and slopes, and making it easier and safer to drive on.”

Safety improvements include widening the road shoulders, replacing the concrete median barrier with a wire rope barrier, and adding a barrier where there is none on the northbound edge.

Mr Walker says that while roadworks are always disruptive, the upgrade will provide a noticeably superior standard of highway to the existing one.

“Once completed, people will notice a real change in the quality of this section of road.  Not only will it be smoother, but it will provide a safe, seamless, high quality connection between Transmission Gully and the Expressway.”

Mr Walker says that while the work is expected to cause only minor delays, people are encouraged to consider other options to dodge peak hour traffic, such as taking the train or travelling outside of peak times.

He says that the Transport Agency have been really pleased with the courtesy and patience of motorists during enabling works, which involved removing the concrete median barriers.

Click here(external link) to find out more information about the upgrade.

 

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