The roadworks which were blamed for creating hour-long delays on State Highway 29A today were part of "planned maintenance".

Severe congestion clogged up the Tauranga arterial route from as far as Pyes Pa Rd to Te Maunga roundabout.

A police media spokeswoman said roadworks were responsible "and the journey towards Tauranga between Baypark and Oropi is taking close to an hour".

Police advised motorists to take an alternative route to avoid the delays.


A spokeswoman for the NZ Transport Agency, responsible for the running of the state highway network and roadworks on it, said this afternoon that the delays were created after a section of road was resealed last night as part of "planned maintenance".

It is standard practice the following day we use low-speed traffic to roll in the new chip on the new sealed surface after it has been rolled.

"The NZ Transport Agency would like to thank motorists for their patience today as the resealing of the road is completed.

"Final line markings should be completed overnight and things should be back to normal for tomorrow."

A Bay of Plenty Times reporter caught in the congestion said traffic was at a standstill from where she was near the Baypark Stadium to "as far as the eye can see".

Readers have expressed their frustration online, some sharing photographs of cars backed up between the Pyes Pa Rd and Poike Rd roundabouts.

An alert issued by the agency earlier today warned of delays at a new seal site with a 50km/h speed limit in place on SH29A between Oropi Rd and Poike Rd.