Travel woes as roads are busy or close

By Joanne Carroll

Holiday traffic will be disrupted. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Holiday traffic will be disrupted. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Travel around Auckland will be disrupted with road, bridge and rail closures over the Christmas and New Year period.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane each way on Auckland's Quay St from tomorrow through to the end of March as the road is dug up for cables to be laid and a roading upgrade.

No trains will be running for two weeks to prepare the Auckland rail network for electrification. Bus services will replace trains until lines reopen on January 10. The Eastern Line and Southern Line south of Otahuhu will remain closed until January 17.

The NZ Transport Agency's Auckland and Northland regional director Stephen Town said traffic on the Northern Gateway Toll Road was expected to rise 50 per cent to 13,500 northbound vehicles daily. Delays at manual kiosks could be avoided by paying tolls by phone or online, he said.

And there were two free alternative routes: along the Hibiscus Coast Highway and up State Highway 16.

Town said care would also be needed as work continued over Christmas and New Year on the Victoria Park Tunnel and Newmarket Connection Viaduct Replacement projects, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the SH20/1 Motorway Connection project in Manukau, and Stage 2 of the Kamo by-pass on State Highway 1 in Whangarei.

Meanwhile, work is underway to replace the old one-lane Kopu Bridge - the main route into Thames and the Coromandel.

Those travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula this Christmas holiday season can avoid long delays at the bridge by taking a diversion via SH26.

Superintendent Paula Rose said drivers should be patient and take their time as they travelled around the country these holidays.

"Over the next couple of days we expect traffic to be very heavy and in many places there will be delays," she said.

The official holiday period began at 4pm on Friday and ends at 6am on January 5.

"Police will be out in force over this period and will be targeting drivers detected driving more than 5km/hour over the posted speed limit as well as drivers who hold up traffic and do not pull over," Rose said.

- Herald on Sunday

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