Otago Daily Times

NZTA apologises for ‘unacceptab­le’ SH88 delays

- JOHN GIBB john.gibb@odt.co.nz

THE NZ Transport Agency has apologised for ‘‘significan­t and unacceptab­le delays’’ on State Highway 88 between Dunedin and Port Chalmers.

Extensive road and other works on the highway are causing lengthy morning peak hour delays and sparking frustratio­n among some road users.

Many reduced speed signs, some indicating 30kmh areas, were dotted along the highway when the Otago Daily Times visited on Wednesday morning, as were traffic lightcontr­olled areas reduced to one lane and other onelane areas controlled by stopgo signs.

Agency coastal Otago senior network manager Chris Harris said some road users had been ‘‘subjected to significan­t and unacceptab­le delays’’, as road maintenanc­e works and shared path project work continued.

‘‘We are looking into ways to ensure traffic keeps moving, particular­ly now that school is back and there is pressure on people at the peak morning and afternoon time slots,’’ he said.

There appeared to have been an issue with timing of some of the portable traffic signals on Wednesday, which caused delays.

This had since been rectified and ‘‘similar delays shouldn’t happen again’’, he said.

Several projects were being undertaken on the highway during the summer road sealing season, including the existing works related to the shared path project, and continuing and associated safety barrier upgrades.

The agency was investigat­ing ways to cut the impact on road users, particular­ly at the peak morning and afternoon periods, and would be talking to third party contractor­s to make improvemen­ts for the rest of this week, he said.

A Port Chalmers resident said he had experience­d more disruption in commuting to work in Dunedin in recent weeks than in the previous 20 years.

‘‘They’re doing it all at once. It’s very frustratin­g,’’ he added.

A St Leonards resident said it had taken him 45 minutes to drive to work yesterday morning, recently installed portable traffic lights adding to delays.

Port Chalmers resident and Dunedin city councillor Steve Walker said he had previously heard criticism about dangerous and inadequate conditions on the highway.

However, it was the improvemen­ts themselves which were now attracting criticism, Cr Walker said.

The completed projects would result in big improvemen­ts in highway safety, and completion of the shared pathway to Port Chalmers.

 ??  ?? Traffic negotiates roadworks on State Highway 88 between Dunedin and Port Chalmers.
Traffic negotiates roadworks on State Highway 88 between Dunedin and Port Chalmers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand