Silent nights on state highways this holiday break

Road workers are stepping aside to leave the roads clear for holidaymakers. File photo/SunLive.

‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas, when all through the nation,

'Not a state highway work site was stirring, to help curb holiday driver frustration,

'Some cones and temporary speed limits remained, positioned with care,

'To help everyone travel safely, from here to there.'

From December 23 to January 5, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency work sites will close to leave the roads clear for holiday traffic, but there may still be temporary speed limits and road cones at some work sites or where there has been recent road resurfacing.

Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships David Speirs says Waka Kotahi and its contractors stop most work before busy holiday travel periods like Christmas and New Year’s, to minimise disruption to people’s journeys.

“Always take care when driving through road work sites and follow the temporary speed restrictions to ensure everyone stays safe on our roads.

“Traffic management, such as temporary speed limits, signs and cones, is used to alert road users to a change in the road conditions or to works ahead, so look out for the signs and please take care in the run up to Christmas and during the holiday period.

“There will be some holiday congestion and delays, and we all need to factor that into our plans. Trying to ‘make up lost time’ by speeding and unsafe overtaking puts everyone using the road at risk.”

With Auckland’s regional boundary recently reopening, the Christmas-New Year holiday period is expected to be a very busy time on Waikato and Bay of Plenty roads.

Some of the key work sites where traffic management will remain in place over the holiday break include:

  • Hamilton section, Waikato Expressway: 50km/h temporary speed limit where the Hamilton section joins the existing SH1 at Tamahere. Also speed restrictions and traffic on single lanes in both directions where Hamilton section joins Ngaruawahia section.
  • State Highway 2 Maramarua passing lane closures: Passing lanes at Maramarua on SH2 will be closed for safety reasons from 23-24 December and 27-28 December eastbound (heading toward the Coromandel) and on Tuesday 4, Thursday 6, Friday 7 and Sunday 9 January 2022 westbound (heading toward Auckland). For more information visit:
  • SH2 Karangahake Gorge: The speed limit on SH2 through the Karangahake Gorge will be reduced from 80km/h to 50km/h between Crown Hill Road and School Road from Monday 20 December through until late January, when holiday traffic subsides.
  • State Highway 39 Mangaotama Stream bridge and State Highway 30 Kopaki rail overbridge: New weight restrictions are in place. For more information visit:
  • State Highway 25 Pepe Stream bridge: Traffic management in place to help manage congestion during peak holiday travel times.
  • State Highway 25 Boundary Creek bridge: Reduced to one lane with a 50km/h speed limit to extend its useful life. For more information visit:
  • SH2 Waihī to Ōmokoroa: Temporary speed limits, shoulder closures, barriers and cones will be in place at various sites within the project corridor.
  • SH2 Wainui Road to Ōpōtiki: Possible 70km/h temporary speed limit between the SH2 / Wainui Road Intersection and Rankin Road.
  • State Highway 30, Sala Street to Iles Road: Works on the SH30 Eastern Corridor – Stage One project are expected to be complete before the Christmas shutdown on 23 December, which includes removal of all traffic management.
  • State Highway 5, Tarukenga to Ngongotahā: The upgrade of the SH5/State Highway 36 Ngongotahā roundabout is scheduled to be completed before Christmas, while other safety improvement works will wind up on 23 December. There will be minimal traffic management in place over the Christmas/New Year break.
  • State Highway 33, Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa: 70km/h temporary speed limit either side of the area known as the Pareteiro - Sun Valley Curves.

Mr Speirs thanks motorists for their patience when traveling over the Christmas-New Year holiday break and wishes people a relaxing time with family and friends.

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:

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