Recommended Sponsor - Buy Original Artwork Directly from the Artist

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is stepping up efforts to tackle the high number of potholes on State Highway 3 south of New Plymouth.

As part of this work, SH3 will be closed between Inglewood and Stratford from 7am to 1pm on Sunday 24 July for urgent pothole repairs.

Central North Island Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations, Jaclyn Hankin, says there are a higher than usual number of potholes on SH3 in Taranaki due to the high rainfall experienced in June.

“Taranaki roads have to contend with significant groundwater and rainfall. The rainfall coupled with volcanic ground conditions, particularly around the mountain, make it challenging to keep water out of the road. Once water gets into the road it has a significant impact, causing the road to become saturated resulting in potholes and wider failures. 

“With the significant number of weather events we’ve seen this year, in particular a very wet June, a number of reoccurring potholes have been identified at the Tariki underpass and just south of Midhirst on SH3. Our crews will complete pothole repairs at these two sites on Sunday and the road will be closed while the repairs are completed.

“The nature of the repairs means a full road closure is the safest and most efficient option for road works crews and the travelling public. Crews will be working across both lanes at once, and both the narrow road and the bridge structure at Tariki would prevent traffic being able to safely pass.”

The work is largely weather dependent, as it requires fine weather while undertaking the work and 2-3 days of dry weather to ensure the road surface layers are dry afterwards.

To avoid delays, people are encouraged to take State Highway 45.

Ms Hankin says Waka Kotahi understands people’s frustration with the potholes on SH3 this winter and is working hard to manage the situation.

“We will be conducting a geotechnical assessment at the Tariki underpass, to investigate and determine the underlying issue of the reoccurring potholes in this location, so a long-term solution can be developed,” says Ms Hankin.

Further pothole repairs on SH3

There will also be urgent pothole repairs taking place at five additional sites on SH3 between New Plymouth and Stratford this week. The repair works will take place from Tuesday 19 July to Friday 22 July between 7am and 6pm. Stop/go traffic management will be in place while the repairs are undertaken, and people should expect delays of 5-10 minutes.

Ms Hankin says this work will help to create a more resilient road surface over the winter, until permanent repairs can be undertaken in the summer, when it is warm and dry.

“In the meantime, we encourage people to drive to the conditions, slow down and maintain a safe following distance between their vehicle and the one in front to maximise their chance of seeing and responding to a pothole in the road. Potholes and other hazards can be harder to see in heavy rain and low light, which are both more prevalent in winter.”

This work is weather dependent and may be postponed in the case of wet weather.

For up-to-date information on road works and delays on SH3, people are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website.

Waka Kotahi Journey Planner (external link)

People are encouraged to report potholes on state highways by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

Waka Kotahi thanks everyone for their patience while we undertake these important repairs.