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Storm continues to cause danger for drivers

Storm continues to cause danger for drivers

Strong winds and rain continue to make driving conditions hazardous in Auckland and Northland, and the NZ Transport Agency is advising people to take extreme care on state highways and roads.

For the second day, the speed limit on the Auckland Harbour Bridge has been lowered from 80 to 70km/h and the Transport Agency says motorcyclists and people using campervans and other high-sided vehicles should consider using State Highways 16 and 18 as a safer alternative between the North Shore and the south side of the Waitemata Harbour.

“The bridge does remain open and we did restore the 80km/h limit overnight, but there have been some wind gusts over 80km/h and the lower speed has been introduced again to help keep people safe,” says the Transport Agency’s Regional Journey Manager, Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

Three vehicles driving into the south-bound Johnstones Hill tunnel on the Northern Gateway Toll Road were damaged by an emergency barrier arm that had broken loose during the storm. There are no reports of injuries.

The Transport Agency has reported a busy night for its staff and contractors with 80 storm- related incidents in its Northland and Auckland regions. Most of the incidents occurred in Northland and involved storm debris, fallen trees and flooding.

The storm is affecting the following sections of state highways in Northland:-

State Highway 1 at Hukerenui north of Whangarei, flooding but road now passable with care

State Highway 1 at Rangiahua, flooding

State Highway 1 at Turntable Hill near Moerewa, flooding

State Highway 1 between Whangarei and Ruakaka And Whangarei, severe weather has caused washouts and potholes. Drivers are advised to reduce speeds

State Highway 11 between Kawakawa and Paihia, flooding at Lemons Hill

State Highway 12 at Aranga near Dargaville has been closed by a fallen tree.

State Highway 12 at Taheke near Kaikohe, flooding

“Drivers should be aware that there will be a large number of contractors’ vehicles at many locations around the region as we work hard with emergency services and local authorities to fully restore the network,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.

“Many of the incidents we are dealing with are in isolated areas and there are no alternative routes available, so delays could be lengthy.”

There are options to help people plan safer travel:-

Check the Transport Agency’s website, www.nzta.govt.nz for travel information; freephones 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) and 0800 111 655 have national and regional travel updates


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