Motorists warned as southern highways melt

Graeme Hall
Graeme Hall
The New Zealand Transport Agency is warning motorists to take care as highways begin to wilt under a sustained assault from the sun.

Sections of state highways in Central Otago have already begun to show signs of ‘‘seal bleed'' in recent days, particularly along State Highway 6 between Queenstown and Lumsden, an NZTA spokeswoman said.

Contractors were keeping a close eye on the hot spots.

NZTA journey manager Graeme Hall said with holiday makers swelling volumes on highways and roads in Central Otago, people should also expect congestion, and be prepared for delays and slower journeys.

Queenstown roads were always very busy on New Year's Day and the day after.

''Another issue which drivers should be on the lookout for is seal bleed when the tarseal melts in certain areas when there has been sustained hot weather.

‘‘This is currently looking likely in much of Otago, with sustained hot weather and no rain forecast.''

Mr Hall said NZTA maintenance crews would be working throughout the break, and drivers needed to take care when they saw repair crews.

''And be aware that in circumstances of seal bleed, stopping distances will change and motorcyclists in particular need to take special care.''

People could report any issues to 0800 4 HIGHWAYS.

● The Christmas road toll stands at four after a cyclist died from his injuries following a road accident in Ranui, West Auckland, on Christmas Day.

A person died in a three-car crash on State Highway 1 at Oakleigh, near Whangarei, on Christmas Day, and two died in a Boxing Day crash on State Highway 1 near Tokoroa.

Since the start of the official holiday road toll period there have been 373 reported crashes on New Zealand roads.

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