A glass bottle, golf balls, and daily verbal abuse are being hurled at Tauranga road workers.
The NZ Transport Agency says verbal abuse is a daily occurrence for many staff on the roads.
On May 16, a project manager of 15 years who had a glass bottle thrown at him while at work on the Te Puke Highway said he hasn't seen abuse this bad in a while.
It was the same day work to stabilise the Kaituna riverbank began, meaning some of the highway was reduced to one lane to place a concrete barrier and make way for a 5-tonne crane.
Stop-go traffic management was put in place and the stretch of road is expected to be like this until July.
Ash Kelly, Waiotahi's project manager of the Te Puke Highway works, said a swearing person threw a glass bottle at him while he was measuring dimensions for the crane.
The bottle missed and broke beside him.
"You're working, then all of a sudden you hear: 'hurry the f*** up', 'you don't know what you're doing', and 'this is a s*** show.' "
The project had been going on for a little over a year and most of the staff were verbally abused, which happened as soon as they reduced to one lane.
"It's disheartening. We're just trying to do our work ... It's not our intention to cause that much frustration."
Those on the lollipops were "gutted" by the abuse they copped.
"They don't exactly like standing out there for 10 hours a day getting abused ... it brings the team down throughout the day," he said.
"We're taking the brunt because all [drivers] can see are the guys on the ground and not what's going on behind the scenes."
Kelly's been in the job for 15 years and had not seen behaviour like it in a long time.
"We have families, we're just doing our job."
He said the public was "obviously frustrated" and expressing it through yelling abuse, mainly during peak traffic as it queued.
"If we were to be abused as much as we were on Monday (May 16), this crew wouldn't be turning up on our site."
He said the entire project was expected to be complete in August and drivers could expect the single lane to be removed in July if everything went to plan.
Waiotahi Tauranga branch manager Matt Ropati said he was "annoyed" when he heard about the behaviour and got in touch with the transport agency straight away.
He said the agency did a lot of work to try alleviate the abuse.
Ropati said there was a notable improvement in behaviour after making a post on the Te Puke community Facebook page about the abuse.
Waka Kotahi maintenance and operations regional manager Rob Campbell said the project would install CCTV cameras on site if poor behaviour continued to risk the safety of workers.
Campbell said verbal abuse was a daily occurrence at some sites across the region.
Earlier this year, contractors undertaking surfacing and drainage work on State Highway 2 Takitimu Dr were regularly abused by passing motorists.
They also had several golf balls land near the site from an unknown source, he said.
"It was very disappointing to see this unacceptably aggressive behaviour directed at workers on the very first day."
He said although it did not keep statistics on this type of thing, it appeared to be an increasing issue for contractors.
In a statement last week, the agency said the workers were not decision-makers.
"They're just hard-working Kiwis who deserve to work in a safe and abuse-free environment."
A police spokeswoman said police were aware of one incident on Monday where members of the public behaved aggressively towards contractors working on the Te Puke Highway.
Waka Kotahi discussed the situation with police, who advised they will assist if required.
The transport agency would offer toll-free travel eastbound on the State Highway 2 Tauranga Eastern Link between 6am and 9am on weekdays, which started on Monday.
It was hoped to encourage traffic to the toll road to reduce queues on the Te Puke Highway during peak morning traffic.
It had already removed the toll on the Tauranga Eastern Link on the westbound lanes heading towards Tauranga between 4pm and 7pm weekdays.