Lengthy delays at the Loop Rd roundabout site south of Whangārei should ease soon, with traffic expected to be driving through one lane by the end of the month.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says traffic will be driving through the Loop Rd roundabout, on State Highway 1, by the end of the month, weather permitting.
"The roundabout will just be a single lane as the completion of the full two-lane roundabout is still at least a year away. However, it will be a significant change for motorists that will improve traffic flow and peak time congestion through the area," Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray said.
"Before we open the roundabout to traffic, we still have a lot of work to do that is weather dependent. This includes asphalting the roundabout's approaches. To lay asphalt we need warm, dry conditions over the next two weeks."
Work will start after the morning commuter peak tomorrow, with changes to where SH15 intersects with SH1 on the southern side of the roundabout. There will still be a "T" intersection but SH15 will be on a new alignment built alongside the current road.
Before SH15 traffic is switched on to that new alignment, there will be new asphalt laid and the temporary guardrail and mobile safety barriers will be moved.
"The changes will mean trucks making a right hand turn on to SH1 will have a tighter turn than before. We ask truck drivers to go slowly and for northbound motorists to allow them as much space as possible to make the turn safely."
There will be a temporary speed limit of 30kmh at the Loop Rd intersection during the day on Tuesday as road crews work close to live traffic lanes. During night works on Tuesday, there will also be a temporary speed limit of 30km/h, with periods of stop/go traffic management on both SH15 and SH1 at Loop Rd.
"We ask motorists to slow down, keep to the temporary speed limits and watch out for our crews on the roadside. Safety is our priority and we want everyone to get home safely," Thackwray said.
This temporary intersection layout will remain in place for abut two weeks until the asphalting and work to connect SH1 and SH15 to the new roundabout is completed.
Traffic will then move on to the new single lane alignment through the roundabout.
Motorists have been using a temporary road past the Loop Rd intersection with SH1 while the new two-lane roundabout is built. The roundabout is part of a wider project to upgrade SH1 and the Portland Rd intersection further south to improve safety and access for road users.
The intersections are on a freight route for logging trucks heading to and from Northport at Marsden Point and 19,000 vehicles use this section of SH1 every day.