The NZ Transport Agency is warning of almost three months of delays on SH1 Desert Road while the deck is replaced on the Waihohonu Stream Bridge.
Work starts Saturday. There will be two full closures and traffic over the bridge and at other times traffic will be reduced to one lane.
The full closures are now projected to take place on March 7 and April 4, but this is weather permitting and is subject to change. Each closure is expected be from 7am for around 36 hours. The alternative route is State Highway 46, 47, 4, and 49.
This route is not suitable for vehicles over 44 tonnes, apart from 50MAX which is permitted. High productivity motor vehicles can use the SH3 and SH3A route between Hamilton and Bulls.
Vehicles with over-weight loads or over-dimension loads wider than 3.0 metres will not be able to use the Desert Road section of SH1 for the next few months as it will not be possible to cross the Waihohonu Bridge.
The bridge was damaged by a truck crash in July 2017. The work was expected to start in late January but will now take place from Saturday February 17.
During this time road users can expect the bridge to be down to one lane, with some short closures of around 5 minutes. There will be a 30km/h limit in place.
There will also be multiple maintenance work sites on the Desert Road during this period and there are delays possible at other sites.
NZ Transport Agency Waikato Transport System Manager, Karen Boyt, says people using the Desert Road should check before they travel.
“People can expect to experience some delays and should use our website or call us on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS before setting off on their journey.
“The two closures are required to pour the concrete deck. One side will be poured during one closure and the other will be for poured during the second closure.
“We understand the inconvenience this closure and the maintenance work may cause and we'd like to apologise in advance for any disruptions, however this is important work that needs to be completed,” says Karen.
The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions nationwide is the NZTA website.
Important information is shared via the Transport Agency's official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here.
Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information.