Motorway construction halted

Workers on the motorway project will down tools this afternoon for four weeks.

Work on the Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway project will close down tonight for four weeks in line with the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Waka Kotahi (NZTA) general manager transport services Brett Gliddon says capital works on state highway projects are not classified as essential services, and contractors and sub-contractors have been advised to make arrangements for the shutdown.

Mr Gliddon says some critical state highway maintenance work and emergency works will continue, and staff will also be maintained in traffic control operations centres, to ensure that the state highway network remains safe for essential travel.

Waka Kotahi will ensure that all temporarily closed worksites on the state highway network remain safe for road users, and appropriate traffic management measures will be in place.

Mr Gliddon says while there will be an impact on the timelines for some projects, the effect of the shutdown on specific projects won’t be known for some time.

“Our immediate focus is on ensuring the health and safety of workers and the wider community during this very difficult time. We are committed to doing our part as New Zealand comes together to respond to this unprecedented challenge.”

A Waka Kotahi spokesperson says the motorway site will be monitored throughout the closure.

“Site traffic management, security and environmental monitoring and protection measures will be maintained throughout this temporary closure.”

At the peak of this 2019/20 season, the Puhoi to Warkworth project has had more than 700 staff working across the project.

During the project shutdown, face-to-face metings with residents and the wider project community will be suspended.

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