Whangarei traffic: A crawl until late May

Work on the new Whangarei harbour crossing has slowed traffic to a crawl on Riverside Dr causing frustration for Onerahi and Whangarei Heads residents heading into town for work.

The construction of the Riverside Dr roundabout, as part of the Lower Hatea River Crossing project, has meant the speed limit on part of the road has also been dropped to 30km/h where usually it was 80km/h. The problem is at its worst in the morning.

Whangarei District Council (WDC) infrastructure and services group manager Simon Weston said queuing was inevitable on the road while construction is under way.

The roundabout is due to be completed by the end of May.

Two lanes of traffic are still open. However, there will be times when one lane is partially closed and a stop/go control will be used to keep traffic moving.

Mr Weston said this will be done outside peak traffic hours.

"Until the end of March, traffic will be moved over towards the bank on the northern side of the road.

The northern shoulder is currently being filled in and sealed so that traffic can run on this.

"This will enable most of the roundabout to be constructed without traffic going through the roadworks," he said.

"In April and May traffic will then need to be pushed on to the partially complete roundabout so that the northern side can be built.

"During this time traffic will need to run on a gravel surface."

Mr Weston said the council appreciated that roadworks cause inconvenience and urged people to plan ahead for the delays.

- Northern Advocate

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