SH2 eastbound lane blocked at Paengaroa

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises the eastbound lane of State Highway 2 is blocked at the intersection with Wilson Road North at Paengaroa, where a truck has overturned.

Motorists are asked to avoid the area, delay unnecessary travel or consider alternate routes where possible, and to follow the directions of emergency services or traffic management staff on site.

Visit Waka Kotahi’s Journey Planner website (journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link)) for up to date information on up to date information on road or lane closures, detours, road works, traffic and delays.

Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience.

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Dunedin to Port Chalmers – build in extra time from next week as shared path project progresses

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

People who use the highway between Dunedin and Port Chalmers, SH88, should plan for short delays – a few minutes extra to the overall journey – from this coming Monday, 13 July.

The work in the Roseneath cutting area is part of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s safety improvements project and shared cycle path on this section of highway.

“This particular piece of work will take around nine weeks through to September,” says Jason Forbes, Senior Project Manager, Waka Kotahi.

Waka Kotahi Senior Project Manager Jason Forbes at St Leonards at the start of the final section of the West Harbour cycleway extension through to Port Chalmers in May this year. (Photo courtesy The Star(external link))

 “We need to build a 200-metre long steel and concrete retaining wall that will carry the St Leonards to Port Chalmers section of the shared path through the Roseneath cutting. The highway will be reduced to one lane and controlled by traffic lights while this retaining wall construction is underway.

“People should be aware also that the single lane with traffic lights will be in place 24 hours a day for significant parts of this construction. But wherever we can do so safely, we will open both lanes to help minimise delays.”

  • The retaining wall will be built in two stages, says Mr Forbes, with the first stage, taking around nine weeks, starting Monday with the installation of steel piles.
  • Later in the year, concrete panels will be fitted to the retaining wall and material fill placed behind the panels.  

Curles Point work from Monday for three to four weeks

Work also starts from Monday 13 July at Curles Point between St Leonards and Roseneath. This involves accessing the rail line and installing rock walls to strengthen this part of the rail corridor to carry a section of the new shared path between St Leonards and Port Chalmers. This work is expected to take up to four weeks, subject to weather.

“For safety reasons, it’s necessary to close the majority of the Curles Point area, but wherever possible public access will be retained to part of the area,” says Mr Forbes.

For background on the shared path and safety improvements planned for this highway:
https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh88-dunedin-to-port-chalmers-safety-improvements/ (external link)

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Snow forecast for Desert Road tomorrow, motorists take care

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is encouraging motorists to expect winter driving conditions on the Desert Road tomorrow.

Waikato System Manager Cara Lauder says the Metservice is forecasting significant amounts of snow for the Desert Road between 2pm and 10pm tomorrow (Wednesday 8 July) and with additional traffic on the roads due to the school holidays and the opening of the Whakapapa ski field (the Tūroa ski field is scheduled to open Saturday 11 July) on Mt Ruapehu, motorists are asked to take care.

“We encourage drivers to be prepared for icy conditions and snow. Road closures are likely.

“Plan ahead and allow extra time for your journeys and drive to the road and weather conditions. Maintain a greater following distance between your vehicle and the one in front, and slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards.”

State Highways 4, 46, 47 and 49, as well as State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupō, and the Napier-Taihape Road may also be affected by snow and ice.

Ms Lauder says motorists can prepare by ensuring their vehicles are safe, roadworthy and well-equipped for winter driving.

“Make sure you have a safe spare tyre, your lights, brakes and windscreen-wipers are all working, and you have a clean windscreen inside and out. Ensure your mobile phone is well charged and carry a car phone charger or power bank. Blankets, snacks and bottles of water are also a good idea, in case of an emergency or breakdown.”

Visit the Journey Planner website(external link) for up to date information on road closures, detours, road works, traffic and delays.

Winter driving tips

  • Check journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link) for weather and travel conditions on highways before you start your trip and on breaks throughout your journey or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).
  • Ensure your car is safe and well-equipped: spare tyre, warrant of fitness is up-to-date, lights, brakes and wind-wipers all working, clean windscreen inside and out, check tyre treads to ensure good grip.
  • If you are travelling long distances, share the driving and have regular breaks.
  • Wear your seat belt throughout the journey and check your passengers have theirs clicked in too.
  • Driving on roads that are exposed to snow and ice can be treacherous, so slow down and drive to the conditions, not the allowable/legal speed limit. Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • Be prepared when travelling in case of delays on the road, particularly in alpine conditions. Make sure you have warm clothes/food/water/charged mobile phone. In an emergency, phone 111. Bear in mind some parts of the highway have no mobile phone coverage.
  • Learn about winter driving, including how to get your vehicle ready and if you are driving in an area where chains may be needed, practise putting them on before you go so you are not caught out.

More winter driving tips and advice

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Night time tree felling on SH1 in Dome Valley

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises State Highway 1 north of Warkworth will be reduced to one lane during overnight work for two nights from Sunday, 12 July.

Road crews will be removing gum trees from the road side near the Total Span building, about halfway between Kaipara Flats Road and Christine Place on SH1, says Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray.

Stop/go traffic management will reduce traffic to one lane between 7:00PM and 6:00AM. The work is expected to be completed by Tuesday morning, weather permitting.

Tree felling contractors will be removing gum trees above a retaining wall on the roadside. They will use a crane and will temporarily close the road to allow each section to be safely lowered.

“During the work, our team will temporarily stop traffic to ensure the safety of the work crews and road users. We will be monitoring the queues and minimising wait times as much as possible,” says Andrew Thackwray.

“The Transport Agency apologises for any inconvenience and advises road users to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys. The work is being done at night to minimise disruption for freight movements and the travelling public.”

The planned safety improvements on SH1 through the Dome Valley include widening the centre line and road side shoulders, adding right hand turn bays and installing flexible road safety barriers.

The project started in early 2019 and is expected to be completed in late 2021. The project is being delivered as part of the Safe Network Programme, a collaborative, prioritised programme of proven safety interventions on high risk routes across New Zealand.

More info at https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh1-dome-valley/(external link)

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Locals invited to find out more about Forgotten World Highway improvements

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is holding a drop-in session in Whangamomona next week for locals to find out more about planned improvements for the Forgotten World Highway.

Project staff will be at the Whangamomona Hall on Tuesday 14 July between 6pm and 8pm to answer any questions.

Design for sealing the first two kms of the 12km stretch of unsealed road through the Tangarakau Gorge is now complete and work to prepare the site for sealing in spring will start soon. The sealing project is funded through the Provincial Growth Fund.

Following a commitment of funding from the regional package of the NZ Upgrade Programme for further improvements, investigations and design are also underway for works including wayfinding, passing opportunities, safety improvements, improvements to the Moki Tunnel, replacing the Kahouri Stream bridge and culvert replacements.

Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says a total of $23 million will be invested in the road over the coming years.

“The improvements will bring more tourism to the area and make the road safer and more reliable for locals and visitors,” says Ms Speight. 

To get things moving quickly and reduce the impact on traffic, the sealing project will be delivered in two stages. The 2km section at the southern end of the gorge will be constructed first and work on the remaining 10km will get underway next year. The entire project is expected to take up to two years to complete. 

Roadside safety barriers, signage advising drivers of upcoming hazards and safe travelling speeds will also be installed in the gorge as part of the sealing project.

The community is encouraged to come along to the session to find out more about the sealing project and other improvements planned for the iconic highway.

Stratford District Mayor Neil Volzke says, “Now that this project is about to come a reality, I encourage community members to take this opportunity to learn more about the work involved and the economic benefits it will enable.”

Let Waka Kotahi know if you plan to come along by registering at www.sh43_dropin.eventbrite.co.nz(external link) or by emailing fwh@nzta.govt.nz.

When: Tuesday, 14 July. Call in anytime between 6pm and 8pm  
Where: Whangamomona Hall, 6013 Ohura Road, Whangamomona

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Night time closures for repairs on Penrose Road Bridge over SH1

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency advises that essential repair work on the Penrose Road bridge over State Highway 1 in Auckland will require motorway closures and other traffic restrictions over the next three weeks.

Waka Kotahi Auckland System Manager Andrea Williamson says the work will be carried out over three long weekends, starting Thursday, 9 July.

The southbound lanes of SH1 between Ellerslie-Panmure and Mt Wellington will be closed each night from 10:00pm to 5:00am. A signposted detour will be in place.

On the bridge itself, the eastbound lane will be closed from 9:00pm Thursday to 6:00am Monday, with stop/go traffic management in place.

“Motorists travelling on the motorway or over the bridge can expect delays and are advised to plan ahead, avoid the area and allow extra time for their journeys,” says Andrea Williamson.

The closures over the next three weeks will be:

SH1 southbound between Ellerslie-Panmure and Mt Wellington – closed each night from 10:00pm to 5:00am:

  • Thursday 9 July to Sunday 12 July
  • Thursday 16 July to Sunday 19 July
  • Thursday 23 July to Wednesday 29 July

Penrose Road bridge – the eastbound lane closed with stop/go traffic management from 9:00pm Thursday to 6:00am Monday:

  • Thursday 9 July to Monday 13 July
  • Thursday 16 July to Monday 20 July
  • Thursday 23 July to Monday 27 July

The closures are for repairs to bridge support beams damaged by over-height vehicles on the motorway. In the ten years to 2018, the Penrose bridge was struck 41 times, with 32 hits on the southbound side.

In 2018 a protective steel-plated beam was installed in front of the bridge structure on both the northbound and southbound lanes. This, along with an over height detection system and signage, has protected the bridge from further damage.

“The bridge was inspected after each vehicle strike to confirm the integrity and safety of the structure, but recent inspections have shown some beams need remediation to ensure the resilience and longevity of the bridge.”

The repair work includes cutting out and replacing some beam sections. The road closures are to reduce loadings on the bridge and prevent traffic from causing movement and vibration that would affect the final repair.

“The work is being carried out on weekends when there is less traffic and therefore less disruption. We don’t usually do closures on Fridays and Saturday nights, but we need four consecutive nights to get the job done safely in time to reopen the motorway and bridge for Monday morning peak traffic,” says Andrea Williamson.

“Waka Kotahi apologises in advance for any inconvenience and thank motorists for their understanding while we carry out this essential work on the Auckland motorway network.”

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Traffic flowing in both directions over new Ōpaoa River bridge, Marlborough, later this week

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Traffic will be flowing in both directions on Blenheim’s new SH1 Ōpaoa River Bridge later this week, when southbound traffic is switched from the old bridge onto the new alignment, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Northbound traffic was switched onto the new bridge mid-June. This further change allows work at each end of the bridge to continue safely and efficiently.

“We were pleased with how well road users responded to the last switch, and it’s exciting to see this important regional project progressing so well,” says Andrew James, Waka Kotahi System Manager.
“While the exact time and day of the switch isn’t yet confirmed, when it happens we’ll make it as easy as possible for road users, who’ll find they’re simply directed onto the new route to continue their journey.”
Drivers should be aware that traffic management and reduced temporary speed limits will remain in place as construction activities continue.

“While our crews continue to work on this important project, we’re asking drivers to keep to the temporary speed limits and take care around the site,” says Mr James.

Once both lanes have been switched onto the new bridge, work will continue on the remaining pavement and landscaping works, including preparing the old bridge for use as a walking and cycling facility.
A completion date later this year is yet to be confirmed.

When complete, the project will offer a more reliable, resilient, safer route for freight transport and travellers on State Highway 1. While the old “banana” bridge is just 5.5 metres wide, the new one is ten metres, making it much safer for truck drivers and wider vehicles.

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SH2 through Te Puna closed to eastbound traffic this afternoon

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises State Highway 2 will be closed to eastbound traffic between Te Puna and Wairoa River Bridge from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm today to replace a power pole damaged when a tree fell in high winds overnight.

Eastbound traffic towards Tauranga will be detoured via Te Puna Road and Te Puna Station Road to allow room for a crane on the road. Westbound traffic will remain on SH2.

Eastbound traffic should allow an extra 5-10 minutes for journeys between Te Puna and Bethlehem. Visit journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link) for up to date information on road works, traffic, detours and delays.

Waka Kotahi thanks customers for their patience while this essential work is completed. 

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Interest high in shaping the future of Dunedin transport

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

There’s no shortage of people wanting to have their say on options to create a transport network for the Dunedin Central Business District that’s safer, better connected and with a range of travel choices.

More than 500 responses have been received in just two weeks for Shaping Future Dunedin Transport’s consultation document.

With the new Dunedin Hospital being built in the central city, there’s a unique opportunity to explore options for creating a better transport network, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Waka Kotahi is one of the partners in the group Connecting Dunedin, alongside Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council, formed to develop and review transport options.

“These include how the central city transport system could change to better support developments, like the new hospital, and enhance the central city as a place where people want to spend time,” says Jim Harland, Director Regional Relationships, Waka Kotahi.

Community engagement got underway mid-June, with feedback closing in two weeks on Thursday 16 July. Options include greater transport choice and safety, and providing better bus, walking and cycling experiences.

“The response so far has been great with more than 3,000 people visiting the Shaping Future Dunedin Transport website and already more than 500 people have provided feedback,” says Mr Harland. “It’s encouraging to see so much interest, underlining how passionate people are about Dunedin and its CBD transport network.

“With a decision of this magnitude, it’s critical we have good insights into what the community thinks of possible options being considered for the future of Dunedin’s central city transport network.

“We all have a part to play to maximise changes coming to Dunedin, so get your responses and comments in before mid-July,” he says.

Key themes that have emerged so far include car parking, public transport, a free or low-cost inner-city bus loop servicing the university and polytechnic and possible changes to the SH1 one-way system.

Visit the interactive website(external link) to find out more about the project and share your ideas and comments. To continue and further the engagement discussion, the project team will be providing comments on the top five posts through Social Pinpoint via the link above or read the engagement summary:

Read the Social Pinpoint engagement summary [PDF, 458 KB] 

Useful links and information:

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Large hole under the road closes one lane on SH10

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises that SH10 north of Kaeo has been reduced to one lane after a large hole was found under the road surface.

The hole is about two metres wide and five metres deep, says Waka Kotahi Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

“The hole is in the southbound lane just over a kilometre south of Totara North Road and traffic is reduced to one lane. There are stop/go traffic managers on site and we’ll install electronic traffic lights later today for longer term traffic management.”

“Our team is on site working out what they can do to repair the hole. At this stage it appears to be a tomo, which is a cavity caused by a build-up of water underground. A culvert close by has collapsed and this may have caused the tomo to develop after recent heavy rain.”

“We’ll know more when we put a camera down the hole today to assess the extent of it. We’ll then have to dig out and repair the road.”

Motorists are advised to take care passing the site, keep to the temporary speed limit and watch out for workers on the roadside.

“Safety is our top priority and we want everyone to go home safely at the end of the day,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.

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