Traffic flows smoothly on Port Chalmers road

Dunedin tourism operators breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after a repeat of Wednesday's traffic chaos at Ravensbourne was avoided.

Traffic flowed smoothly through the roadworks area all day and both lanes of State Highway 88 were open before morning commuters began heading into the city from Port Chalmers and harbour suburbs.

The 10-minute trip into the city was a far cry from Wednesday, when hundreds of motorists endured a frustrating crawl that, for some, took more than an hour.

New Zealand Transport Agency senior network manager John Jarvis said resurfacing work ''went well'' overnight, allowing contractors to be off the road - and both lanes reopened - before 6am yesterday.

They were expected to start work on the top layer of the road's asphalt surface last night. Work would continue into the weekend and was weather-dependent, he said.

However, crews should again be off the highway by 6am today, to ensure traffic was not disrupted, he said.

Minor work was expected to continue early next week, but the resurfacing project should - weather permitting - be completed by December 18, he said.

Wednesday's problems stemmed from the failure to notice ''soft spots'' under the road until it was too late to fix them before morning commuters began arriving.

Their discovery meant one lane remained closed until mid-morning, causing a huge queue of vehicles to form and more than 50 cruise-ship passengers to miss Taieri Gorge Railway bookings.

That prompted railway chief executive Murray Bond to warn the road would need to be ''perfect'' to accommodate passengers from another four cruise ships due before the weekend.

Mr Bond said when contacted yesterday's work appeared to have gone well, with no disruptions, and he was pleased with the turnaround.

He hoped it would continue today, ''because we have got two bigger cruise ships in''.

Passenger Transport director Kayne Baas also reported no disruptions, saying yesterday's roadworks had been ''good''.

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