Central Otago/ Queenstown Lakes District summer roadwork season has begun

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 15, 2019

The NZ Transport Agency‘s Aspiring Highways team has started summer roadworks on Central Otago/ Queenstown Lakes District highways to ensure well-maintained road surfaces and safe journeys for all road users.

Summer is the best time for this work as weather conditions are warmer, allowing bitumen to stick more effectively to the road surface and for crews to have more daylight hours and visibility. Unfortunately summer is also the time for holidays and events, and roadworks at these times can create disruption and frustration for road users.

“To enable people to better plan their journeys, the Transport Agency provides as much timely information as possible via its website, social media, and electronic signs on the highways. To minimise the effects of these road works, people need to build in extra time when they are travelling,” says Mark Stewart, NZTA maintenance contract manager for Central Otago.

Work areas to be aware of:

  • Frankton Road (SH6A between Frankton and Queenstown): starting mid-October/ this week, aiming to be completed by mid-November. Night works.

  • SH6 rehabilitation – east of the Gibbston Valley Winery: to be carried out in two stages. Stage 1: mid-October – late November. Stage 2: late January – mid-February 2020.

  • Albert Town Bridge (SH6): Night works in mid-November. Bridge closed and detour in place for up to two nights.

  • Road users can expect delays of five to 10 minutes between Kingston and Queenstown (SH6, Devil‘s Staircase) from mid-October to early November as a significant amount of work is undertaken to improve the road surface in this area.

  • There will be a number of other reseal sites throughout the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago Districts this summer.

Updates on these sites will be provided via: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic 

What should you do when driving on chipseal that has just been laid?

  • Get ready: Slow down to the posted temporary speed limit before you reach the new chipseal.

  • Leave space: Allow an extra car‘s length distance to develop between your car and the vehicle in front.

  • 30k is okay: Drive steadily at the temporary speed limit – usually 30k/h the first day, 50k/h in the following two days.

  • Avoid braking: Don‘t ride the brakes and avoid getting so close to the next car that you have to brake suddenly. Tap the brakes lightly but only if you have to.

  • Be patient: Don‘t pick up speed until after you have left the coned zone.

If everyone does this, it reduces the likelihood of damage to the chipseal, your vehicle‘s paintwork, and windscreens, says Stewart.