Roadworks nightmare: When will it be over?
Are you starting to see orange road cones everywhere you turn? Well, there’s a reason for that.
Construction took place on six major roading projects in the Wellington region over summer.
NZ Transport Agency added a seventh project this month when work began on 800 metres of curve realignment and new safety barriers on State Highway 58, over Haywards Hill.
This is on top of the various road repairs, sea wall strengthening and broadband upgrade projects currently happening around the region, all of which require some traffic control.
Motorists using SH1 are having to deal with speed restrictions linked to construction of the Transmission Gully motorway at Tawa, the Raumati Straights upgrade, and the Kapiti expressway.
Those travelling on SH2 are having to pass by construction of the new Haywards Interchange at the highway’s intersection with SH58.
Raewyn Bleakley, the Transport Agency’s central regional director, said the projects were needed now to support Wellington’s growing population, improve safety, and reduce traffic congestion.
‘‘We understand at times this has lead to congestion and disruption and we thank people for their patience,’’ she said.
Neil Walker, the agency’s Wellington highways manager, told the region’s mayors in March that the roading projects had created three ‘‘pinch points’’ at Pukerua Bay, Raumati, and over the Paekakariki hill.
Roadworks south of Pukerua Bay in late January and early February ‘‘didn’t go well’’ and ran into peak hours, he said.
‘‘It was about that time people decided a quicker way home was to actually go over the Paekakariki hill. So now we actually have traffic on the hill, which has created another conflict point for us.’’
Construction is also expected to begin in 2019 on the PetoneGrenada highway, which will take until 2023 to complete.
Mark Owen, the Transport Agency’s regional performance manager, said the latest works on SH58, west of Mt Cecil Rd on Haywards Hill, would happen outside of peak hours, but would involve speed restrictions and lane closures until midMay.
‘‘While there will be some disruptions to normal journeys through the area, we expect these to be minor,’’ he said.