Major road works for some South Island highways

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly
Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly
A suite of road works that will disrupt travel on major highways has prompted warnings for motorists to plan ahead.

Planned maintenance in both the North Island and South Island in the next few weeks means several state highways will be closed for periods as roading crews go to work.

Drivers were recommended to use the NZTA Journey Planner to check what road works were under way on their routes, and to find out if detours are available.

Drivers travelling between Picton and Christchurch on State Highway 1 were advised to allow extra time because of several road works sites - a particularly useful warning for anyone driving to the Cook Strait ferries.

The work could mean 30 minute delays on the main highway near Lake Grassmere on March 5 and March 7, as well as work on March 4 near Tuamarina.

And fibre installation is planned on the highway between Cheviot and Spotswood, with works on that section of highway until April 20.

In Nelson, works are being carried out on Whakatu Drive, a major route through the city, on State Highway 6, with intermittent lane closures until April 16 as well as night closures from March 17 to 27. People travelling to and from the airport should plan ahead in case of delays.

Speaking about road closures on Whakatu Drive that were completed in February, NZTA systems manager for the top of the South Island, Rob Service said the highway was a main route between Nelson and Tasman, so travellers should adjust their times for works on the road. Full closures can be safer for contractors "and allows them to finish the work much faster."

On the Lewis Pass, which connects the West Coast to Nelson and Canterbury (State Highway 7), there will be 30-minute delays from March 5 to 8 at some times, as loose rocks are removed.

The same work will be carried out on Arthur's Pass, which links Greymouth-Kumara to Christchurch (State Highway SH73), with 30 minute delays expected for some times from March 18 to 25.