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Motorists urged to take care on wet roads

Motorists urged to take care on wet roads

The NZ Transport Agency is urging drivers to take extra care on the roads with heavy rainfall expected to affect much of the North Island today.

A severe weather warning remains in place for parts of the Bay of Plenty with rainfall of up to 120mm expected in the Kaimai Range. Long periods of rain and possible thunderstorms are expected in the Western Bay of Plenty, eastern Waikato and the Coromandel Peninsula.

The wild weather is likely to make driving conditions difficult and motorists are urged to adjust to the conditions and keep up to date with road closures and other travel advice at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz

Motorcyclists and those driving high-sided vehicles should exercise extreme caution, and all drivers are advised to reduce their speeds and increase following distances during periods of heavy rain.

Drivers are advised to watch out for surface flooding, slips and rapidly rising rivers and streams, especially around high tide times.

Contractors are currently working to clear a slip on the lower Kaimai Range. This part of State Highway 29 remains closed to all traffic with detours in place onto SH28, to SH5 and back up SH36. Motorists travelling from Auckland should use SH2. One lane is expected to be open later today.

Motorists heading to Fieldays are warned to expect delays at Matangi Village where traffic from Auckland is merging with vehicles heading to the event from Hamilton.

Several sections of State Highway 25 including parts of the road just north of Kopu and at the Thames to SH25 junction are closed due to slips.

The SH25 Hikuai to Tairua intersection is also closed due to flooding. Contractors have opened SH25 between Kopu and Thames after last night’s flooding but will continue to monitor the situation this afternoon when heavy rainfall is expected.

Drivers are urged to avoid travelling on SH2 west of Te Puke where the wet weather has caused significant deterioration to recent pavement rehabilitation.

The exact cause of the deterioration is being investigated and is currently unknown however the recent wild weather has exacerbated the problem.

Traffic speeds have been lowered to 50kmph to maximise driver safety while the issue is investigated and a solution can be found.

A section of State Highway 30 near Kawerau will be closed until 6pm today to allow contractors to upgrade railway lines over the road.

Motorists will be detoured through Kawerau on State Highway 34. A detour via Onepu Springs Road will also be available.

The NZ Transport Agency apologises for any inconvenience.

For real time information on highway conditions and incidents visitwww.nzta.govt.nz call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or follow @nztawgtn on twitter.

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