As the cities empty out and the beaches fill up, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi is encouraging people to plan ahead for safe summer road trips.
NZTA wants everyone to get to their destinations safely and have a happy holiday. For a smooth journey, and before you set off, we encourage everyone to use Journey Planner to check for road conditions journeys.nzta.govt.nz
Andrew Oakley, Waikato System Manger for NZTA says people should remember to drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert.
“With the volumes of traffic expected over the holiday period we are asking people to be patient when driving this summer so everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays together. It is important to keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front of you so you can stop safely,” says Mr Oakley.
With contractors pausing most work over the Christmas and New Year break, it will be a smooth ride from midday Friday 22 December through to 8am 8 January 2024.
“Everyone needs a break and it’s a perfect chance for our contractors to recharge for a busy 2024 on the state highway network,” says Mr Oakley. “However, we will have a few sections of the network under temporary traffic management to improve efficiency and safety for everyone.”
Similar to previous years, passing lanes on State Highway 2 between Pōkeno and the State Highway 25 Mangatarata roundabout will be closed on select dates during the busy Christmas and New Year holiday travel periods.
Through the Karangahake Gorge the 600m section between Crown Hill Road and School Road has had its speed reduced temporarily from 80km/h to 50km/h. This section of the highway includes the entrance to the Karangahake Reserve, which is the starting point for many of the popular walks in the historic gorge.
Bay of Plenty
– Takitimu North Link Stage One: Earthworks are underway across a number of sites. On Wairoa Road, stop/go traffic management will be in place while trucks are crossing Wairoa Road, and 30km/h speed limits will be in place at all times within the construction area. Work in this area will become more evident as we work towards completing the Wairoa Road bridge in preparation of its opening. Minden Road has a 30km/h speed limit throughout the construction zone. A temporary haul road into the Te Mete Valley is operational to support the summer earthworks season. The single-lane haul road is separated from SH2. Road users should be aware of the new road layout and temporary speed limit of 60km/h on SH2 alongside the haul road. Construction will cease on 21 December for the year, recommencing on Monday 8 January 2024. More information.
– Cambridge/Moffat Roads: Construction work to complete the new Cambridge Road Overbridge, between Bethlehem and Tauriko continues. From 8 January 2024 until April 2024, major works will require a full closure of a section of Moffat Road between Tauranga Adventist School and Cambridge Road (East). This will be a significant disruption to travel through this area with local alternative routes for light vehicles and heavy trucks to use State Highway 29/Takitimu Drive Toll Road. More information.
– SH2 Wairoa Cycleway: The Tauranga City Council cycleway construction is now in the final stages, people should be aware of the new traffic signals on SH2 to allow cyclists to cross the highway, the cycleway is expected to open before Friday 22 December. More Information.
– SH2 Bay Link: People travelling between Baypark and Bayfair will continue to see several road and lane closures. Closures will vary night to night, depending on site requirements and progress, and people are asked to allow extra time, follow signposted detours and drive with caution through the project site. To minimise impact, works are undertaken at night where possible. From Sunday 17 to Thursday 21 December, approximately 8.30pm to 6am each night, road closures will be in place on Matapihi Road, Owens Place, Maunganui Road and SH2/Tauranga Eastern Link. Access to and from Matapihi and Owens Place will be constrained and includes entry/exit via a new temporary access point connecting Titoki Place with Maunganui Road. More information.
– SH29 Takitimu Drive Toll Road (TDTR): A reduced speed limit of 80km/h is in place while Takitimu North Link crews are working behind the barriers.
– SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road (TELTR): Traffic management for the Tauranga City Council led Pāpāmoa East Interchange construction project has been removed until construction of the interchange itself starts in early 2024. More detail will be shared closer to the time. More information.
The Quayside Properties Ltd led Rangiuru Business Park Interchange project continues. Prior to Christmas, material is being removed from the northern side of the site. Traffic management will be in place for 2 weeks between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday on the shared path to ensure the safety of path users. Temporary barriers have been installed on both sides of the TELTR, and these will be in place until approximately June 2024, with one lane available in either direction. A temporary speed limit of 70km/h applies through the site. More information.
Western Bay of Plenty
– SH2 Waihī to Ōmokoroa: Roundabout construction is underway at Sharp Road with significant activity on both lanes. Contraflow is in place on the southbound lanes with speed restrictions. There will be intermittent stop/go traffic management in place which may cause delays. But typically expect minor delays of one to two minutes. At the Ōmokoroa Road intersection vegetation clearing continues, this work is offline however shoulder closures will be in place at times. The Park and Ride on Ōmokoroa Road near SH2 will be closed Saturday 16 December. More information.
– Western tie-in (near Loop Road): Construction continues at the western tie-in of the Takitimu North Link project where utilities need to be moved. SH2 will be reduced to 50km/h in the area during this work, and the passing lane heading west will be removed to allow the crews to work on the side of the road.
– SH33 Paengaroa: Road rebuilding is ongoing on a northbound uphill slow lane south of Paengaroa. Stop/go traffic management and a temporary speed limit will be in place until late December, with work taking place between 6am and 6pm. Delays are expected.
– SH30 Rotorua: From 4am Saturday 16 December a triathlon event will be taking place, the cycle portion will make its way along SH30 from Wharenui Street to the SH30/33 roundabout then travel along SH30 to Te Te Oneroa Bay on Lake Rotoiti, before returning along the same route. Motorists are advised to be aware of cyclists on this route, the event is expected to finish approximately midday.
– SH30 Eastern Corridor Stage Two: The multiple active worksites on SH30 / Te Ngae Road includes stop/go, lane shifts and shoulder closures, temporary pedestrian crossings, footpath closures, and/or reduced speed limits. Access for local residents and businesses will be maintained at all times. A temporary speed limit will remain in place over the construction holiday period. More information.
– SH36 Kaharoa: Survey work continues on a 200m section of road between Kaharoa Road and Te Waerenga Road. Stop/go traffic management will be in place with minor delays expected. Physical works will start in the New Year.
– SH33 Ōkere Falls: Road rebuilding continues at an 800m section of road north of Ōkere Falls. Stop/go traffic management and a temporary speed limit will be in place until late December, with work taking place between 6am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday. Delays are expected.
– SH33 Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa: One site on the SH33 safety improvements project has a temporary speed limit in place. This will be removed early next week, with work resuming on the site in the New Year. More information.
– SH5 Waimangu: Repair work is progressing well on a slip south of Tumunui. The road is due to be sealed and the barrier installed by Wednesday 20 December with all work completed prior to Christmas.
Eastern Bay of Plenty
– SH2 Waimana Gorge: Road rebuilding continues. Stop/go traffic management and a temporary speed limit will be in place during this time. Work will cease for the Christmas holidays and continue in the New Year.
– SH2 Wainui to Ōpōtiki: Safety improvements between Parkinsons Road and Woodlands Road near Ōpōtiki continue. This work is expected to be complete by late December 2023 (weather dependent). Works consists of shoulder widening and the installation of safety barriers. During this time road users can expect to see shoulder closures and/or stop/go operations in place, as required. Works will take place between 7am and 5pm each weekday. Please allow extra time for your journey as delays up to 10 minutes may be experienced.
– SH2 Manganuku Bridge, Waioeka Gorge: A reduced speed limit of 30km/h for heavy vehicles will remain in place until further notice. Heavy vehicles must stick to the speed limit as those travelling at higher speeds will exert greater loads on the structure, which currently poses a significant risk.
Tairāwhiti Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay
– SH5 Napier – Taupō: Progress continues at a number of slip sites at the Hawke’s Bay end of SH5. Stop/go traffic management is in place at various sites, along with temporary speed limits. The road is expected to be reinstated to two lanes throughout by Christmas.
– SH1 Utiku: Due to high rainfall and increased land movement, there is active site monitoring, and an altered road layout with various traffic management and a 30km/h temporary speed restriction in place.
– SH4 Te Oreore slip: Following a slip in 2019, a temporary road is in place at Te Oreore, with a 30km/h temporary speed limit in place. Construction of three new retaining walls north of the main slip area are ongoing.
– SH25: Recovery works are underway at several sites, with temporary traffic management such as lane closures and stop/go, with a reduced speed limits where required. This currently includes Wharekaho, Coroglen and Ruamahunga. More information.
– SH25A Kōpū-Hikuai: SH25A is on track to reopen by Wednesday 20 December. While the road will be open the area around the bridge remains an active worksite and there will be temporary traffic management with a speed restriction through the area. There is a lot of interest in the new bridge and changed landscape around the site and along the route, it is not safe to stop and sightsee on or near the bridge. People are encouraged to stick to the speed limit and take care. Traffic is expected to be heavy throughout the holiday period, so we need everyone to do their bit to keep things flowing smoothly. More information.
– SH25 Chipsealing: Resealing work continues between Waitakaruru and Keretā, this work will be completed by Tuesday 19 December. There will be stop/go traffic management in place with a speed restriction.
– SH25 Pepe Bridge: During the Christmas/New Year period there will be temporary traffic management in place on the Pepe Bridge to manage traffic flows. This will be in place between 22-24 December and 27 -31 December 2023, and 3-8 January 2024.
– SH1 Lichfield: The northbound slow lane near Puriri Road is closed until further notice, while investigations take place into repair options.
– SH1 Ātiamuri: Temporary steel barriers have been installed from Ātiamuri village to Ohakuri Road and a temporary speed restriction of 50km/h applies as construction of safety barriers has commenced.
– SH1 Maroa Road: Stop/go traffic management is in place, along with a temporary speed restriction, while finishing works continue on the 4.8km stretch of highway which has been widened and safety barriers installed. The site will reopen to two lanes at 100km/h on Thursday 21 December. From Monday 8 January more repairs will see a return to stop-go for two weeks. Final sealing will be completed later in the summer.
– SH1 Hātepe: Road rebuilding is underway north of Hātepe. Stop/go traffic management is in place between 6am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday. Work is expected to be complete by Tuesday 19 December.
– SH41 Tokaanu: Due to a washout, the road is down to one lane under temporary traffic lights, with a 30km/h temporary speed restriction in place.
– SH49 Ohakune: Road surface repairs take place from Monday 18 December for three nights. Work will take place between 6pm and 6am each night, during these hours stop/go traffic management and a temporary speed limit will be in place.
– SH1 Waikato Expressway – Ngāruawāhia section: Safety improvements and remedial works require the closure of a single lane in each direction with a 50km/h temporary speed limit, until completion in mid-2025. Major southbound surfacing works need a block of night closures and detours for approximately 5 weeks. The closures, from Sunday to Thursday each week, run until Thursday 21 December, 7pm to 5am each night. The detour is via SH1B Gordonton Road. Light traffic can turn off at Lake Road to re-join SH1 at the Northern Interchange. Heavy vehicles must use SH1B, including the local road detour at Telephone Road, and connect to SH1 again at Cambridge or via SH26 into Hillcrest. More information.
– SH1 Karāpiro (Keeley’s Reserve): The bulk of the work has wrapped up on the turnaround bay at Keeley’s Reserve in Karāpiro. The reserve has reopened to the public and the turnaround bay can be used. Due to a nationwide shortage, the streetlighting system is yet to be installed, this will be completed in February 2024. More information.
– SH 1 Karapiro: Work is underway on a section of SH1 between Keeley’s Reserve and Moana Roa Road in preparation for median barrier being installed in early 2024. The contractor is currently onsite carrying out minor drainage and surveying activities, with traffic management in place. This work will be wrapped up by Sunday 17 December and will restart on Tuesday 9 January 2024. The main construction work involves 1.5km of shoulder widening, temporary barrier installation, earthworks and pavement construction, followed by surfacing, lighting and permanent barrier installation. During the majority of the construction the slow lane of the southbound passing lane between Keeley’s Reserve and Moana Roa Road will be closed, and the worksite will be under a temporary speed limit of 50km/h. Access in and out of Kentucky Road will remain open. Construction is expected to be finished by late June 2024.
– SH3 Ōhaupō: The Waipā District Council led Ōhaupō village pedestrian safety improvements are underway and are expected to take 6 months to complete. During this time lane shifts and stop/go traffic management will be in place, along with temporary speed limits.
– SH3 Kihikihi: A right turn bay is being built on SH3 Kihikihi to allow easier access to McAndrew Street. From 7am to 6pm daily there will be no access to McAndrew St from SH3 and Stop/go traffic management may be in place on the state highway. Work will be complete by Thursday 21 December.
– SH30 Te Kūiti: Due to a slip, priority give-way is in place near Mangaokewa Road, motorists are advised to proceed with caution.
– SH1 Waikato Expressway – Rangiriri section: Remedial works have finished, however this section will remain at 70km/h while repairs bed in ahead of final sealing later in the summer.
– SH2 Coalfields Road to Ferndale Road: Stop/go traffic management will be in place Sunday 17 December and Monday 18 December between 9pm and 5am for resurfacing.
– SH3 Awakino: Final surfacing continues. Stop/go traffic management will be in place, with delays of up to 15 minutes expected. Work is expected to be complete by the end of March 2024.
– SH3 Uruti: Rock mesh slip protection work north of Mangamaio Road continues. Stop/go and stop/stop traffic management will be in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, along with a 30km/h temporary speed restriction until Christmas. Delays of up to 30 minutes are expected.
– SH3 Te Ara Tutohu Waitara to Bell Block: Due to ongoing safety improvement work SH3 is closed between Nelson Street and Bayly Street until 2 February 2024. The road is closed to both lanes of traffic at all times, with a detour in place through Waitara. More Information
For up to 48 hours following completion of chipseal sites, a 50km/h temporary speed limit will be in place until the road is swept and line marking reinstated.
The above information is accurate at the time of release. Many of the above works are dependent on a number of factors, particularly weather, and may be postponed at short notice. For up-to-date information on road works, traffic, detours and delays, motorists are encouraged to visit the NZTA Journey Planner website (journeys.nzta.govt.nz).
NZTA thanks motorists for their patience while we complete this essential work to keep the state highway network safe, accessible and resilient.
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:
– Traffic updates: journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic
- Facebook: facebook.com/TransportAgency
- Twitter: twitter.com/WakaKotahi_news
- Journey planner: journeys.nzta.govt.nz
- Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)