Road resealing puts brakes on traffic

By Kristin Edge

Traffic was backed up all the way from Onerahi Hill to the Town Basin due to resealing work. Photo/John Stone.
Traffic was backed up all the way from Onerahi Hill to the Town Basin due to resealing work. Photo/John Stone.

Work on resealing sections of a busy Whangarei road caused major traffic queues with some motorists taking more than an hour to travel six kilometres.

Traffic backed up along Riverside Drive and Port Rd due to road works on Onerahi Rd on Monday.

Whangarei District Council roading manager Jeff Devine said contractors were working on the final phase of a resealing programme.

On Monday, contractors began work at 7.30am and had finished resealing two sections of road near Onerahi Hill by 3pm. Mr Devine said the road workers were allowing vehicles over the new seal but at reduced speed which created major traffic congestion.

"The combination of the new seal and people driving very carefully resulted in a queue that lasted a couple of hours. It was unfortunate but we did our best to minimise the impact on traffic flow," said Mr Devine, who was also in the long line of vehicles.

He said normally when such roading activities were happening there was a bypass but, in this case, there was no alternative route.

The work was not able to be done at night as the bitumen product was a high temperature product and was not able to be applied in the dark.

There was one more section on the road that needed to be done but that was dependent on the weather. It was due to be done yesterday but because of the rain would be rescheduled.

The delays created some frustration with a number of comments left on the Northern Advocate Facebook page.

Dale Weatherley said it would have been good to have been notified of the delays.

"I would have gone grocery shopping or similar rather than go home at 5km/h in bumper to bumper traffic."

Marcus Bryce said it was horrible.

"Because I needed to be back in town by 6pm. I was forced to stay in town for dinner and have a curry."

Kelly Oosterbroek said she left at 2.30pm to pick her daughter up from school but didn't get there until 3.15pm.

"If they'd given people more notice maybe they would have found alternative ways to get home," she said.

- Northern Advocate

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