NZTA acts to avert disruption

The New Zealand Transport Agency is changing its procedures to avoid a repeat of last week's major disruption to State Highway 88 traffic in Dunedin.

Motorists were stuck for more than an hour between Ravensbourne and St Leonards because of botched road works by NZTA contractors on December 11.

Yesterday, NZTA Otago-Southland highway manager Ian Duncan told the Otago Daily Times the event had provided the organisation and its contractor with ''a number of valuable learnings''.

''These have resulted in changes to some of our procedures and include better communications with road users, all of which will avoid a repetition of this event,'' Mr Duncan said.

The NZTA did not expect the mishap to add to the cost of the $300,000 resurfacing work being undertaken between the Parry St roundabout and the Ravensdown fertiliser works.

Contractors had been working through the night to complete work on the only direct route between Port Chalmers and the central city, but last Wednesday morning they discovered soft spots in the road's surface. It prompted the closure of one lane on the highway during peak commuting times, and subsequently major delays for motorists.

The NZTA apologised again yesterday to those affected.

''Occasionally, we do have unforeseen events which occur on or impact the highway network and while we cannot provide compensation for these, we do our best to rectify them as quickly and safely as possible,'' Mr Duncan said.

Many cruise ship passengers were stranded at Port Chalmers, unable to go on booked tours as a result of the situation, angering some tourism providers. Hundreds of Dunedin residents were also frustrated by being caught in the traffic jam.

Motorists complained about the lack of warnings in place at either side of the road works.

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Tower InsuranceDunedinInsurance
Literacy North Otago IncOamaruTransport & Haulage
In 2 FoodQueenstownCatering
Stewart Dawsons JewelleryDunedinJewellers