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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

State highway works in the South Island/ Te Wai Pounamu will resume from today (Wednesday, 1 September), with last night’s move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 for most of the country, excluding Auckland and Northland.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency paused all non-essential maintenance and project work with the move to Alert Level 4 at midnight on Tuesday, 17 August.

Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations Peter Brown says the safety of workers and road users remains the top priority for Waka Kotahi and Alert Level 3 is not a return to normal.

“We’re working with contractors on specific COVID-19 plans for each of our work sites. Every one of these plans will align with the new Health Order and strict industry standards provided by Construction Health and Safety NZ.

“These standards and guidelines include measures for pre-planning work, documenting the health and safety of staff, ensuring safe physical distancing is maintained, cleaning of all plant, tools and vehicles, and being able to quickly and accurately trace people should they come in contact with someone who contracts COVID-19.”

The individual plans must be accepted by Waka Kotahi before the project can resume and will be closely monitored to ensure each contractor is complying with the requirements to look after the health and safety of workers and the travelling public.

“The transition back to on-site work will be different for every project, and the timing will depend on the nature and complexity of work sites. Some on-site activity will be able to resume straight away, but it will take time for some sites and projects to be fully operational,” says Mr Brown.

“Infrastructure plays a critical role in the economic recovery of New Zealand so it’s important this work continues, but we will not compromise on the safety of road workers or road users.”

Maintenance work will also resume across the South Island. “Restarting critical maintenance work as we head into summer ensures we are in a position to provide a safe, efficient and accessible state highway network over the next 12 months,” says Mr Brown.

“Maintenance operations will use similar plans to ensure the safety of our people and the communities we work in.

Watch for crews, be ready to slow down

“When driving through worksites, please be patient and respectful and look out for road workers who are doing this vital work to keep us all safe, and ensure freight and essential journeys are not delayed,” he says.

North to south across Te Wai Pounamu

Tākaka Hill, SH60, Tasman District, night closures from next week

Tākaka Hill major repair works will restart in coming days, using the single lane/traffic signal-controlled system regular drivers are well used to.

In addition, there are two weeks of night closures from next Wednesday, 8 September to Wednesday, 22 September, 9pm at night to 5am the next morning.

SH60 Tākaka Hill repairs project page

The sort of work (installing drainage across both lanes of traffic) on Tākaka Hill, SH60, requiring night closures in a week’s time.

Motueka, Tasman District, SH60 High St

This Covid-19 Response and Recovery funded safety project involving intersection upgrades will re-start in coming days.

People will be alerted by the electronic signs and emailed updates.

Check the project page also.

SH60 Motueka safety improvements project page 

Kaikōura – rockfall safety project winding up

Rock face protection works south of Kaikōura, SH1, will mean single lane operations with a 30km/ hour speed restriction from Wednesday, 1 September until Friday, 17 September.

Two days of 30 minute each hour/day closures will be needed during the week of 20 September while the crew packs up and completes this safety project.

Ashburton, Mid-Canterbury

  • NZ Upgrade work in Ashburton (Walnut Ave) will be getting back on track in coming days. 
  • Crews will continue to repair the Ashburton River/ Hakatere Bridge pier as they have been doing throughout Alert Level Four.

Makarora to Hawea, Otago, SH6

On Thursday this week, 2 September, Waka Kotahi road crews will be closing SH6 between Hawea and Makarora for up to an hour at a time between 9 am and 3 pm.  The highway will be opened at the top of each hour to clear traffic. After the recent heavy rain and debris flows, culverts need to be inspected ahead of the next storm and some may need to be pumped out. Thanks to anyone who is likely to be held up by these urgent inspections.

Dunedin to Port Chalmers, Otago, SH88 safety improvements

Expect to see crews back at work on this busy and winding freight route to the Port of Otago this week.

Southland – traffic impacts of maintenance and projects

  • SH1 from Edendale to Bluff (over the next week), traffic management with short areas of stop/go
  • SH1 at Kennington, stop/go for tree felling on Thursday 2 September
  • SH1 at Greenhills near Bluff, stop/go for access installation
  • SH1 Elles Road, temporary speed limit
  • SH1 Clyde St, lane drop (north direction)
  • SH6 Dee/Don St, lane drop. 

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: