The countdown is on, not only for Santa’s elves but also for works finishing across the state highway network throughout the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
All work finished at midday today, Friday 22 December, allowing road users an undisturbed journey to their holiday destination.
Some traffic management will remain in place on large or more long-term sites over the holiday period, however the only works you will see on the road over the festive period are maintenance crews responding to roading incidents, slips or other emergency work.
A hot summer is predicted in many regions which means road temperatures rise as the surface retains the sun’s heat for longer, explains Andy Oakley, Waikato System Manager at NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi.
“The onset of hot weather can create bleeding issues on both existing roads and newly constructed chipseals, especially on uphill inclines. However, this will settle down as we move through summer.
“Bleeding occurs when bitumen liquifies and then escapes through air voids in the surface. Crews will be monitoring newly sealed sites, and are on standby to respond if necessary,” says Mr Oakley.
In Tauranga the Takitimu North Link project is progressing well with a focus on the Cambridge Road overbridge. From Tuesday 9 January until April 2024 there will be major works between Tauriko and Bethlehem requiring a full road closure of a section of Moffat Road. Travel through the area will be disrupted, with light vehicles using local detours and heavy trucks using State Highway 29 Takitimu Toll Road and State Highway 2 via the Elizabeth Street roundabout.
“To help with planning the best time to travel over the holiday period NZTA encourages you to use the Summer Journeys traffic prediction tool.
“This tool shows when key routes will be free-flowing, busy and at their heaviest. Along with the Journey Planner, which provides real time traffic updates, you can see when the best times to travel will be, and then ensure on the day there are no issues on the network causing unexpected delays,” says Mr Oakley.
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 9 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 SH29/Takitimu Drive Toll Road. More information.
– SH2 Bay Link: People travelling between Baypark and Bayfair will continue to see several road and lane closures in the new year. From Tuesday 9 January to Friday 12 January, road closures will apply on SH2, Tauranga Eastern Link, Maunganui Road and at the Bayfair roundabout between approximately 7pm and 6am each night. 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. 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) Shared Path: From Monday 8 January until May 2024 the shared path alongside SH2 will be diverted. Over the coming months there will be an increase in heavy plant and machinery in the area. The safety of crew and the public is a priority, and the best way to ensure the safety of all parties is to temporarily close the shared path to cyclists and pedestrians. An alternative option for users is available via Kaituna Road and Te Tumu Road.
– 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. Temporary barriers 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. From Monday 8 January 2024 there will be intermittent stop/go traffic management in place which may cause longer delays, but typically one to two minutes. A speed limit of 50km/h will be in place. 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. In the New Year 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.
– SH30 Eastern Corridor Stage Two: A temporary speed limit will remain in place over the construction holiday period. In the New Year work will begin on the remaining section of road between Ōwhata Roundabout and Tumene Drive, including surface milling, asphalting and stormwater connections in the westbound lane. These works will require the entrance to Brent Road to be closed – advance notice will be provided. In January, multiple active worksites will resume and may include 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. More information.
– SH36 Kaharoa: With survey work now complete, road rehabilitation will commence on Wednesday 10 January 2024 and is expected to take 10 days to complete.
– SH33 Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa: The team will return from Tuesday 9 January 2024 to continue working on multiple sites along this section of state highway. Work includes widening of the road corridor, installing safety barriers, improving drainage and rehabilitation works. From January, temporary traffic management will be back in place including stop/go, lane shifts, shoulder closures and reduced speed limits. Minor traffic delays are expected. More information.
Eastern Bay of Plenty
– SH2 Waimana Gorge: The road has been sealed and swept. Work will cease for the Christmas holidays and continue in the New Year.
– SH2 Ōtara: Road rebuilding work will commence in early January on a section of road approximately 900m south of Waioeka Pa Road. Stop/go traffic management and a temporary speed limit will be in place during the work. The work is expected to be completed by the end of February.
– 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 adhere to the speed limit as those travelling at higher speeds will exert greater loads on the structure, which currently poses a significant risk.
– SH1 Utiku: This is an active site we are monitoring, and an altered road layout with various traffic management and a 30km/h temporary speed restriction is 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.
– SH2 Karangahake Gorge: Through the 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. The temporary speed limit will be in place until after Waitangi Day. More information.
– SH25A Kōpū-Hikuai: SH25A opened on Wednesday 20 December. While the road is open the area around the bridge remains an active worksite and there is 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 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: Finishing works continue on the 4.8km stretch of highway which has been widened and safety barriers installed. The site is open to 2 lanes at 100km/h from 21 December. From Monday 8 January more repairs will see a return to stop/go for 2 weeks. Final sealing will be completed later in the summer.
– 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.
– SH4 Makatote: Road rehabilitation starts Thursday 11 January 2024 and is expected to take 2 weeks to complete. There will be intermittent stop/go in place between the hours of 7am and 6pm Monday to Saturday. At other times the road will be closed between 8am and 4.30pm with a detour in place via SH49, SH1, SH46 and SH47, back to SH4 and vice versa.
– 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. More information.
– SH1/SH29 Piarere Intersection: Works are planned to start in early January 2024, you can expect to see contractors setting up the site which includes constructing the access road, drainage works, and installing environmental controls. Temporary traffic management will be in place from mid-January, including shoulder closures and lane shifts, please follow the instructions of the team on site and any temporary traffic signage. Traffic delays are expected during construction in this area and an increase of vehicle movements including truck and trailers carting material to site. 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. This work has wrapped up for 2023 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.
– SH1 Karapiro: You will also notice activity in this area earlier in the year, as our maintenance contractor returns Tuesday 9 January to apply a second coat seal following road rebuild works in October. During this work southbound traffic will be detoured via Karāpiro Road, Taotaoroa Road and SH29 to re-join SH1. The northbound lane will remain open; however, vehicles will be stopped at regular intervals to allow heavy and over-dimension vehicles to travel through the worksite, people are advised to expect delays. Outside of work hours, 7pm to 7am, the road will be open in both directions. This work is expected to take 4 days to complete, weather permitting.
– 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.
– 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 Pōkeno to Mangatarata: Passing lanes on SH2 between Pōkeno and the SH25 Mangatarata roundabout will be closed eastbound between 4am – 8pm on 22, 23, 27 and 28 December and westbound on 2, 3, 6, and 7 January 2024. More information.
– SH3 Awakino: Final surfacing continues after the holiday break. 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 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.