Road­works night­mare: When will it be over?

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - MICHAEL FORBES

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.

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