Changes will be taking place on State Highway 2 north of Sargent Road (Wainui Stream) and south of Wright Road (Whatakao Stream) from this week, as part of the Waihi to Omokoroa safety improvements project.
A new road layout, including the removal of the Work Road passing lane and reinstatement of the Aongatete passing lane, began on Wednesday, June 2.
The passing lane closure has been part of the design for this area, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency regional manager infrastructure delivery, Jo Wilton.
“People entering and leaving Work Road told us they felt unsafe turning right across the passing lane. The community was advised of the design in January, with general support for the closure. A wide shoulder will be included to enable slower vehicles to pull over,” says Jo.
The wide shoulder will help reduce driver frustration and unsafe passing manoeuvres by allowing slower vehicles to pull over to the left so other vehicles have the opportunity to pass.
Drivers should demonstrate courtesy by allowing vehicles that have slowed back into the flow of traffic.
“While we acknowledge there may be some frustration with the removal of the passing lane, Waka Kotahi is committed to Vision Zero, a vision for Aotearoa New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads, and removing the passing lane in this location is the safest option.”
These works are part of Section 8 Sharp Road to Sargent Drive.
Temporary speed limits will be in place to allow traffic to adapt to the new road layout and the works are expected to be completed by June 11.
Other activity on the state highway includes relocation of services, shoulder widening and new line markings between Athenree Road and Kauri Point Road.
Minor delays should be expected and drivers are encouraged to take extra care, reduce their speed and follow directions of the traffic management staff and signage.
“Ideally we would have provided more notice about these works taking place, however delays on other areas of the project with consents has meant the construction team are moving around the corridor where they can,” says Jo.
Visit the interactive Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website, journeys.nzta.govt.nz, for the latest information on roadworks, traffic, road closures and detours to help plan your trip.