Sun, sand, surf -- and road­works

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Blis­ter­ingly hot weather con­tin­ued in the very Far North last week, which for many peo­ple meant in­dulging in sun, sand, surf — and road­works on the Awanui Straight.

With the high­way re­duced to one lane, un­der stop/go con­trol, queues stretched al­most the en­tire length of the 6km straight at times, but would have been longer had some lo­cals not opted for the long way round via Gill Rd.

The NZTA’s North­land sys­tem man­ager, Jac­qui Hori-Hoult, said the agency was tak­ing ad­van­tage of warmer, drier weather, and would con­tinue to do so over the next few months, to ac­cel­er­ate its state high­way main­te­nance pro­gramme in North­land.

Be­fore Christ­mas crews com­pleted 133km of re­seal­ing in the re­gion, with an­other 97km sched­uled be­fore the end of sum­mer.

“Road users will no­tice a lot of road works, but there’s no bet­ter time to com­plete the work,” Ms Hori-Hoult said.

“Warm tem­per­a­tures and dry air help the new seal stick to the ex­ist­ing sur­face more ef­fec­tively. Pot holes, cracks and slip­pery sur­faces that have lost their skid re­sis­tance af­fect ev­ery road user by in­creas­ing the risk of crashes. Main­tain­ing sur­faces can help keep our com­mu­ni­ties and vis­i­tors safe on the high­ways.”

Much of the work in this month would be done in the north, be­tween Awanui and Kaikohe and across to Pai­hia, in­clud­ing the Awanui Straight and to just south of Manga­muka Bridge, the north­ern­most stretch of SH15 (Te Pua Rd, be­tween SH1 and SH12), and on SH11 (Puke­t­ona Rd, be­tween Puke­t­ona Junc­tion and Haruru Falls).

At the end of Jan­uary the fo­cus would shift to the south­ern side of the Bryn­der­wyns, where road clo­sures and night works were planned.

Ms Hori-Hoult said ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble was be­ing done to re­duce dis­rup­tion, but it was im­por­tant that mo­torists were pa­tient and ob­served speed lim­its.

“We’re mak­ing the roads bet­ter for ev­ery­one, but we need mo­torists to plan ahead and al­low ex­tra time for their jour­neys,” she said.

“Speed re­stric­tions are there to pro­tect both driv­ers and our work­ers. They also help pro­tect wind­screens and ve­hi­cle sur­faces, which can be dam­aged when peo­ple drive too fast and flick up loose chips.

“Even if there is no sur­face work hap­pen­ing on site, we ask that driv­ers keep their speeds down to let the new sur­face set­tle, other­wise it can get ripped up, and we’ll need to start all over again.”

The queue on the Awanui Straight, as seen from the hill near Kaitaia air­port, on Tues­day af­ter­noon. Traf­fic was backed up 2.5km from the Col­lard Tav­ern, on the north­ern edge of Kaitaia, to just north of Brott Rd.

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