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Safety cited as reason for work

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Roadworks which have caused disruptions to businesses, pedestrians, and road-users along Oamaru’s main street, are necessary for safety, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says.

Resurfacing work along State Highway 1 at three different sites between Coquet and Cross Sts, and at the intersection with Eden St, began last week, and should be complete by next Friday, weather permitting, Waka Kotahi senior network manager Chris Harris said.

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The works required single lane closures, temporary speed restrictions and side road closures, or no turning access.

Although some businesses had been dealing with a loss of parking, and difficult access for potential customers, highways had to be maintained to a safe standard, which benefited businesses, residents and road users long term, Mr Harris said.

“We do our very best to communicate ahead of the work going in place, minimise delays and loss of parking when it is inevitable, or work at night/outside peak hours if that is an option.”

This was the tail end of the summer construction season, which was the peak time for road repairs, as surfacing had the best chance of success in warm, dry conditions, he said.

Downer and Whitestone Contracting were completing the work for Waka Kotahi, while SouthRoads Oamaru had also been carrying out work for the Waitaki District Council in Wansbeck St, prior to them starting, and after they had finished, he said.

“This means BP and New World customers will have noticed a lot of traffic management and access changes over the last two weeks and we thank them all for being alert and taking care.”

As many businesses as possible, within and adjacent to the work sites, were visited by the Downer team, to advise them of the upcoming work and discuss any concerns, so these could be addressed ahead of work starting.

“One example is the area going past the ambulance entrance point.

“We were able to give the hospital notice so that they could remove the bollards, allowing alternative ambulance access, and advise radiology patients ahead of their appointments, that the normal parking spaces on Severn St would be affected,” Mr Harris said.

“Some businesses noted they would open alternative gates or discuss night parking options with neighbours for staff working at night.”

The highway renewal projects were costing about $340,000 in total, with just one left to complete.

Some unexpected delays last week due to “plant issues” resulted in work over the weekend, to ensure the Thames St site was finished on Monday this week.

ashley.smyth@odt.co.nz



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