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Whangarei city road improvements

Media Release

1 April 2014

Whangarei city road improvements

During April and May 2014 the seal along Bank Street between The Grand Hotel at the southern end of Bank Street and the KFC building in the Regent will be replaced.

“This is a very busy inner-city road and we want to make sure people know about it well in advance, think about it and plan ahead so they can avoid being stuck in queues,” said WDC Roading Projects Engineer Kevin Barry.

“The results will be great, the traffic will be able to move more smoothly and efficiently and a lot of assets will be upgraded, but we will all have to deal with disruption while it is going on.

“For most of April work will happen on the road and kerbside during the day. This will cause some disruption to traffic, although our crews always do their best to minimise that.

“Throughout much of May the bulk of the work will be done over night and the road will be reopened every morning. The aim is to disrupt the peak traffic as little as possible.”

Mr Barry said the progress on the job would be dependent on reasonably favourable weather and ground conditions.

Lower Bank Street - Programme

7 April – 24 April (Good Friday)
Footpath repairs and preparatory work during the day.

28 April – 10 May
Asphalt upgrade from Water St to Hunt St. Works will be done at night with restrictions to traffic on side roads and one-way flow at times.

12 May to 16 May
Resurfacing from Hunt St to Grey St at night.

What to expect

Large illuminated signs (called VMS boards) will be installed at each end of the work to warn drivers that the work is coming up, and will remain in place while the work takes place.

The traffic signals at the intersections with Rust Avenue and Water Street will be affected during the pavement and resurfacing work.

Drivers will notice changes to phasing’s and timings of signal operation during these works and are asked to be as patient as possible during this period.

The public will be notified of progress and any changes.

Later in the year

Kamo Road

In September work will also begin on Kamo Road.

This is a multi-stage operation and will require all of the works to be undertaken during the day predominantly using a one-way system.

It is proposed that the section of Kamo Road (from Kensington to Whau Valley School) will operate as a one way for northbound traffic only while works are carried out on the other side.

The contractor has proposed a two month programme which is divided into four stages.

Stage 1: Pavement digouts and footpath repairs over the first 3-4 weeks using manual traffic control and contra-flow traffic management.

Stage 2: Complete a two stage stabilisation and sealing on the RHS of Kamo Road over a 1 week period. The outbound traffic will continue to flow through the LH lane, however the inbound traffic will be diverted onto Western Hills and other viable routes.

Stage 3: Complete a two stage stabilisation and sealing on the LHS of Kamo Road over a 1 week period. The outbound traffic will be directed to the RH lane and as with stage 2 and the inbound traffic will be diverted onto Western Hills and other viable routes.

Stage 4: Over a few days hotmix surface and road mark the entire road during the day using manual traffic control and contra-flow traffic management.

We will continue to refine the above proposal during the next few months to ensure we are minimising impact to the public.

Other projects

Selwyn Ave and Western Hills

Mr Barry said now that the bridge has been completed the NZTA will be moving its attention up the road to the intersection of Selwyn Avenue and Western Hills Drive. New traffic signals will be installed on that intersection, as the first phase of an upgrade of State Highway 1, along Western Hills Drive past the Caltex Service Station to the intersection of Rust Avenue and Selwyn Avenue.

NZTA Highways Manager Tommy Parker said the agency it was good to be starting on another improvement project in Whangarei. “It means we can deliver on what we’ve promised and provide the community safer and easier access through the city.

“The support our projects get from the people of Whangarei is great. It helps us to deliver our projects successfully,” Mr Parker says.

The project will include widening the existing highway, constructing new footpaths and installing new utilities. The project is split into three stages:

• Relocating overhead power and telecommunication services underground

• Widening the existing road and constructing new footpaths

• Completing the upgrade

The works are due to be completed in September. Mr Parker says no night works are planned at this stage.

The NZTA and WDC will hold an open day on 2 April to keep people informed about the SH1 improvements.

Open Day
Wednesday 2 April
10am-12pm and 2pm-7pm
Toll Stadium, Okara Drive

Look after the roadies

“Take it easy on the roadworkers – they are trying to make things as easy for you as they can, and the work they do will make the roads much better when they are completed,” is the message from Council and local roading contractors.

WDC Roading Manager Jeff Devine said people are inconvenienced along these routes during the work, but the work will improve driving and other services, for a long time after the work is done.

“Our contractors and people at Council are driving to work and back every day ourselves so we know first hand that hold ups can be tiring. Luckily for us, we know what it’s all about, so we can think about the better traffic flows, safer drainage, long lasting surfaces we’ll have at the end.

“I encourage people to think of this because the work does need to be done, it will improve things.

Mr Devine said roadworkers were doing solid work.

“They are out there in the weather, noise, dust and heat, following the plan and the instructions they have been given. It can be quite complicated with a lot of preparation and several stages to the work.

“They are often working in busy places with heavy machinery and tools and they are concentrating on getting the job done soundly and as quickly as possible, so we are asking people to spare a thought for them.

“Whangarei people are usually great. They can see what is going on, and appreciate that hold ups are for a reason."

Pain and gain

WDC Infrastructure Services Group Manager Simon Weston appreciates the disruption this kind of work can cause.

“In a very busy area like this, any upgrade work will cause major disruption. We have tried to minimise this throughout the works program we have adopted. There will be delays and queues and the routes that people are used to following will be interrupted.

“We encourage everyone to avoid the area if possible, by planning alternative routes and allow extra travel time."

Working together

The NZTA is working with WDC on several projects to improve the state highway. The aim is to complete five projects to manage growing traffic numbers, improve safety and make travel easier for locals and visitors travelling in and around Whangarei. The improvements also include improved safety for people who walk and cycle.

The remaining three projects are Tarewa Road, Wilson Avenue to Fourth Avenue and Kensington Avenue to Manse Street.

© Scoop Media

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