A number of maintenance and construction projects are scheduled to get underway on state highways in the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago district council areas from this week, says Mark Stewart, maintenance contract manager, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Some of these projects will have a definite impact on road user journey times and because of this have been purposely deferred until after the school holiday/ peak summer period.
"We expected to have high traffic volumes over the Christmas and New Year holiday period and around Chinese New Year," says Mark. "We were also aware of high impact events such as the Gibbston Winery Concert and decided to undertake this important work after the Waitangi Day weekend."
Gibbston Valley Road Rehabilitation – Stop/Go
Aspiring Highways undertook the lower impact preparatory works for this last year and from Wednesday, February 12 will begin renewing the road pavement and surface on this stretch of road. The site is located on State Highway 6 near the Gibbston Valley Winery and will be under stop/go control on weekdays from 8am to 5pm for the next four to six weeks. The road surface will be in a poor condition during this work so the site will be under temporary speed controls for the duration of the project.
Victoria Bridge strengthening work
Over the next four to five weeks strengthening work will be undertaken on the Victoria Bridge on SH6, 10 km east of the Gibbston Valley Winery. Most of this work will be undertaken using shoulder closures with temporary speed limits, however on occasion work will require single lane closures under stop/go control. Delays of up to 10 minutes may be experienced on weekdays between 9am and 5pm. "This site’s team will be coordinating with the Gibbston Valley team to minimise accumulated delay times for travellers between Cromwell and Queenstown as much as possible," says Mark.
Makarora River Bridge, Haast Pass route into Otago, SH6
A major strengthening and maintenance programme on the single lane Makarora River Bridge, SH6, (14 km north of Makarora and 4 km south of the Haast Pass), is starting this week and is expected to continue until the end of April. For the first three weeks there will be closures of up to 30 minutes at a time, every hour, on the hour between 8am and 5pm weekdays.
As the work programme progresses so will the closure types, including some overnight full road closures. This work is heavily weather dependent and more specific details will be released weekly once confirmed.
Road Resealing Frankton to Kingston, SH8 and 85
Aspiring Highways road resealing team is continuing to travel around the network renewing road surfaces. Chip-sealing is very weather dependent and the success of it not only requires dry weather but also warm temperatures.
Following a challenging few months at the end of 2019 (and last week), the team will be again attempting to reseal portions of road between Frankton and Kingston, as well as several sites on State Highways 8 and 85.
Road users are urged to follow the temporary speed limits at these sites. Lower speeds are needed:
For road users’ safety as loose chip can be hazardous at higher speeds and damaging to your vehicle and other people’s vehicles.
For the safety of the road workers, please slow down and consider their wellbeing and safety.
For the quality of the road – following recent sealing, roads require slower trafficking to embed the chip and achieve a better, longer-lasting finish.
We appreciate your patience as you travel through these sites.
Third party works and events
Work by developers and other contractors is not slowing down on the busy QLDC and Central Otago roading network.
Examples of events coming up in February include work to attach utilities to the Shotover Bridge on SH6 near Queenstown and further north we expect a surge in traffic for Challenge Wanaka.
"Over the coming months it would be sensible to always build in at least an extra 10 minutes in your journey regardless of whether you are expecting road works or an event," says Mark.