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Alternative routes to Northland ready for SH1 Brynderwyn Hills closure

Roading crews have made strong progress improving and stabilising the local alternative routes around the Brynderwyn Hills in anticipation of additional traffic due to the upcoming closure of SH1 Brynderwyn Hills.

Kaipara and Whangārei District Council roading crews have put in a massive effort in recent weeks to get the Mangawhai scenic route (via Waipu) and Paparoa/Oakleigh detour in good shape for the expected increase in traffic volumes when the Brynderwyns are closed for important maintenance in late February.

Northland Transportation Alliance Maintenance and Operations Manager Bernard Petersen says they have completed around 300 repairs, from resealing and rehabilitation, to improving bridge approaches, road signage, line marking, drainage improvements, under slips, road subsidence, road realignments, vegetation, shoulder widening and water table maintenance. Repairs will be ongoing in weeks to come.

In December NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) confirmed the upcoming SH1 Brynderwyn Hills closure for urgent repair work.

It stated the road will be closed from 26 February until 27 March, opening for six days over the Easter period. The road will then close again on 3 April to complete the remaining work that requires a full closure. In total, the closure is expected to be about nine weeks, with work to be done as quickly as possible.

Mr Petersen says his team is grateful for the massive effort roading crews have put in getting the alternate routes in good order.

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“The collaboration between 22 Kaipara and Whangārei based contractors to get the job done has been superb because they recognise how critically important this is for the region to get our routes into Northland in good shape,” says Mr Petersen.

“The majority are small to medium enterprise operations, many of them Northland-owned businesses working under the guidance of our current road maintenance contractors - Ventia, Fulton Hogan and Downer.”

He says approximately 14% of the detour length has been re-surfaced, with about 20% of the total roading area receiving pavement strengthening – 11.5km combined at an investment of over $5.5 million thanks to local and central government contributions.

Roadside detour signage is being thoroughly updated to ensure visitors to Northland, and locals alike, can easily understand and navigate the two alternate local routes in and out of the region.

“Much of the work the crews have completed was not able to be done last winter due to chronic weather that kept hitting Northland. However, they have made the most of the dry spell in recent times and I want to also thank motorists for being so patient while works have been ongoing and I would ask that they maintain their respect of roading crews in months to come and keep to the speed limits to keep our people safe,” he says.

“I also encourage people take their time when driving alternative routes during the SH1 Brynderwyn Hills closure and enjoy some of Northland’s tourist gems, like the Kauri Museum at Matakohe which is only a seven-minute drive from the Paparoa/Oakleigh detour. I think motorists will be pleasantly surprised with the good state of our detour routes and the number of attractions nearby that they can experience with their families.”

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