Closures, delays on major highways planned for next few weeks - NZTA

Closures, delays on major highways planned for next few weeks - NZTA
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A suite of roadworks that will disrupt travel on major highways has prompted warnings for motorists to plan ahead.

The original version of this story has been clarified regarding some of the work details.

Planned maintenance in both the North Island and South Island in the next few weeks means several state highways will be closed for periods as roading crews go to work.

Drivers were recommended to use the NZTA Journey Planner to check what roadworks were underway on their routes, and to find out if detours are available.

From today, 3 March until 29 March resurfacing works are planned for State Highway 2 between Masterton and Carterton, so the road will be closed between 7pm and 6am, Sundays to Thursdays.

There will also be a series of night closures on the Remutaka Hill Road between Upper Hutt and Wairarapa (State Highway 2) from 10 March, with the project planned to continue until June.

"This is a busy stretch of highway with over 7000 vehicles, on average, travelling over the hill each day," NZTA regional manager Mark Owen said.

Road closures on the hill could cause "significant disruption" the agency warned, with an approximate 3 hour detour via the Saddle Road or Pahiatua Track much further north in Manawatū the only other road option.

North of Tauranga on State Highway 2, there were eight sites where road sealing was being carried out, with more sites also to be started near Pongakawa.

But work that was being done during overnight closures on the Desert Road (State Highway 1) had been completed ahead of schedule.

Waka Kotahi Bay of Plenty Journey Manager Frankie Evans said that was good news for travellers: "We're really pleased ... this shows how beneficial it is when contractors can work in an environment without traffic."

There had been a lot of work underway during the summer, with about 250km of roads in his area resealed, Evans said.

"This may be frustrating for some drivers, however making the most of the warm and dry weather means our roads will be stronger and more resilient for longer."

South Island

Drivers travelling between Picton and Christchurch on State Highway 1 were advised to allow extra time because of several roadworks sites on State Highway 1 - a particularly useful warning for anyone driving to the Cook Strait ferries.

The work could mean 30 minute delays on the main highway near Lake Grassmere on 5 March and 7 March, as well as work on 4 March near Tuamarina.

And fibre installation would be underway on the highway between Cheviot and Spotswood, with works on that section of highway until 20 April.

In Nelson, works are being carried out on Whakatu Drive, a major route through the city, on State Highway 6, with intermittent lane closures until 16 April as well as night closures from 17 March to 27 March. People travelling to and from the airport should plan ahead in case of delays.

Speaking about road closures on Whakatu Drive that were completed in February, NZTA systems manager for the top of the South Island, Rob Service said the highway was a main route between Nelson and Tasman, so travellers should adjust their times for works on the road. Full closures can be safer for contractors "and allows them to finish the work much faster."

On the Lewis Pass, which connects the West Coast to Nelson and Canterbury (State Highway 7), there will be 30-minute delays from 5 to 8 March at some times, as loose rocks are removed.

The same work will be carried out on the Arthur's Pass, which links Greymouth-Kumara to Christchurch (State Highway SH73), with 30 minute delays expected for some times from 18 to 25 March.