The NZTA are urging motorists travelling in or out of Wellington on their summer holidays to plan ahead, drive with care and be aware of existing construction sites on state highways throughout the region.
Most Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency work sites will close from December 23-January 4 to leave the roads clear for holiday traffic, but there will still be temporary speed limits and road cones at the work sites or where there has been recent road resurfacing.
"Traffic management, such as temporary speed limits, signs and cones, is used to alert road users to a change in the road layout or to pre-warn travellers of work sites ahead, so look out for the signs and take extra care in the lead up to Christmas and during the holiday period," Regional Transport Systems manager Mark Owen said.
"October through to March is our peak maintenance period. The spring and summer months are the best time for resurfacing as daylight hours are longer and the warm, dry air helps new seal stick to the road surface.
"It's also the best time for a lot of the earthworks on our major projects.
"Motorists should be patient and don't try to overtake while crews set up and take down signs and cones. Traffic management is in place for the safety of road users and road workers. When motorists disregard the traffic management, they put everyone's safety at risk.
"Speeding vehicles can flick up loose metal and other objects which are a danger to road workers and other road users. Motorists also have less control at higher speeds and may clip road cones and send them flying at our road workers or oncoming traffic, or lose control completely.
"Congestion and delays are inevitable at peak times, so people should factor this into their plans. Trying to 'make up lost time' by speeding and unsafe overtaking puts everyone on the road at risk. Even when it isn't the direct cause, speed is often the difference between someone walking away unharmed or being seriously injured or killed. For everyone's safety, please slow down."
Improving safety on New Zealand roads is a top priority for Waka Kotahi. We are committed to Vision Zero, which aspires to a New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads.
Work sites to look out for include:
Transmission Gully motorway construction
The road layout has changed at both the southern and northern limits of the site where the new motorway will meet the current state highway. The southern end (Linden – between Porirua and Tawa) will remain at 70km/h over the holiday period, while the northern section (Paekakariki) will remain at 80km/h. Where the expressway passes over SH58 (Pauatahanui) and the quarry access point (near Flightys Rd) the temporary speed limit will remain at 50km/h.
State Highway 58 – safety improvements
Roadworks from the Haywards interchange to Mt Cecil Rd involve widening the road to include an uphill crawler lane, adding sealed shoulders, installing road barriers and making curve corrections. There will be a temporary speed limit of 50km/h throughout the site, for the safety of road users.
Peka Peka to Ōtaki (PP2Ō) Expressway
At the southern end, traffic is already diverted onto a new alignment, a temporary speed limit of 70km/h will remain in place.
At the northern end of Ōtaki, there will be a temporary speed limit of 70km/h in place from the town limits until Taylors Rd (usual speed limit of 50km/h from the BP station until the town limits will remain).
Mackays to Peka Peka (M2PP) Expressway
There will be some resurfacing works in the new year however, there will be no temporary traffic management in place over the moratorium period. This is scheduled to start on January 6.
Ngauranga Gorge resilience works
Work will be under way over the next few weeks to contain loose material on the Ngauranga Gorge hillside to improve safety for motorists, cyclists and walkers.
The southbound shared path has been closed from December 14, with the left southbound traffic lane closing from December 27. Both the shared path and lane will be reopening January 10. This is a key activity that will continue over the holiday period, due to the low traffic volumes.
State Highway 2 maintenance work
Road repairs on SH2 Lower Hutt along River Rd will start on January 4. Detours will be in place diverting traffic on to the local roads.