FROM NZTA: 40-minute delays at SH1 Ealing on 26 March

Published: 22 March 2024

FROM NZTA:

People who travel between Ashburton and Timaru will face significant daytime delays on Tuesday, 26 March as road reconstruction work at Ealing, just north of the Rangitata River, moves onto the sealing stage.

Due to lower night-time temperatures this work has to be done during the daytime to get a successful, long-lasting seal.  The key area being chip-sealed is at Ealing, between Hinds and Rangitata, from 9am to 5pm.

All the preparation at this site has occurred at night and more night work will resume after Easter, says John Keenan, Maintenance Contract Manager for NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA).

“Multiple single lane work sites will be active near Ealing on Tuesday to chipseal sites that have been constructed under night works but need the daytime temperatures to seal,” Mr Keenan said.

Delays of 40 minutes can be expected at the Ealing site.

“We will be signposting an alternative inland route for light traffic – car and van drivers - wanting to avoid the delays, between Hinds and Rangitata.”

The alternative route takes about 35 minutes and would add an extra 20 minutes onto the usual journey time of 15 minutes between Hinds and Rangitata. If people prefer to keep moving, they can take the alternative route via Hinds Arundel Road and the Inland Scenic route 72.

  • As well as the delay at the Ealing site, there may also be cumulative delays at other sites adding up to an hour overall to the trip between Hinds and Rangitata.
  • People might also like to continue south through Geraldine and along Route 72 to Winchester and back onto SH1.
  • This local road alternative route is not suitable for heavy vehicles 50Max or over and NZTA advises all HPMVs remain on SH1.

Other sites are also active at night.

Mr Keenan reminded South and Mid Canterbury drivers that NZTA has night works on multiple sites from Rakaia to Rangitata this week and next week.

“We will be making the most of the active temporary traffic management for the Ealing site by including routine inspections and maintenance on the two Rangitata River Bridges, and by sealing a short section north of the Ealing site near Giddings intersection on the same day.”

  • There will also be active Stop/Go on the Upper Orari River bridge at the SH79/Route72 intersection, to ensure we can keep everyone moving with the increased traffic volumes on the alternative route.
  • Otago Anniversary holiday is Monday 25 March, so there may be more traffic returning south on Tuesday. Easter is also approaching.

“Thanks for your patience while we push to get as much surfacing work completed before Easter so that journeys over the long weekend are easier,” Mr Keenan said.

Alternative route to SH1 for people driving cars and vans:

Detour map

Plan ahead and see traffic updates here.

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