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Road Maintenance Season Is Under Way In Northland

State highways across Northland will be repaired and re-sealed over coming months, as Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency’s spring/summer road maintenance programme gets under way.

Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult says Waka Kotahi will be delivering a large amount of roadworks within the region this season to improve the roads, increase safety and make people’s journeys more enjoyable.

Road rehabilitation – where the road is dug up, repaired and re-laid as new – has been completed on SH12 at Selwyn Park in Dargaville and work is under way on SH14 at Paradise Road intersection.

Rehabilitation work is planned to continue in October and November on SH1 to the south of Whangarei around the Otaika Quarry and in Warkworth near the Hudson Road intersection, which will be done at night to minimise disruption to traffic. Also in October and November, there will be new asphalt laid on SH1 to the south of Warkworth.

“Resealing starts this month and ramps up in October as the days become longer and warmer. The warmer weather helps the new seal stick to the road surface.”

“The weather conditions are critical as was demonstrated earlier this year when the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown shut down Northland’s resealing programme. Once out of lockdown resealing resumed, but by then the weather had turned colder and compromised the new seal in some locations, leaving the bitumen exposed in areas such as on SH1 at Hikurangi and south of Wellsford.

“We’ll be making repairs at those sites as a priority when higher temperatures allow.”

In November and December there will be new chip seal on SH11 and SH14, and on sections of SH1 between Kawakawa and Warkworth. While this work will be largely done at night, motorists may experience some daytime delays.

Ms Hori-Hoult says that last year Waka Kotahi delivered the biggest ever annual maintenance programme. This season Waka Kotahi is looking to renew the seal on more than 100 lane kilometres of state highway in Northland, with about 40% of that completed before Christmas.

“This year we will be implementing more short term and cost-effective repair solutions such as pothole repairs and localised patching work rather than more significant maintenance improvements. This should result in less disruption on the network for motorists.”

Despite the significant roadworks programme, most work will stop before busy holiday travel periods like Labour weekend, Christmas and New Year, to minimise disruption to people’s journeys.

Ms Hori-Hoult says the repairs and resurfacing will keep the road surface maintained and make it safer, but everyone has a responsibility for safety while the work is done.

“We ask all motorists to do their bit by slowing down and keeping to the temporary speed limits. The speed limit applies on both sides of the road even though work may only be occurring in one lane at a time. Driving at the posted speed limits helps bed in the new seal and prevents stone chips flying into windscreens.”

“The road crews will do their bit by working hard to minimise inconvenience and delays. We urge people to be patient, plan their journeys and allow extra time.”

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