Three months of Desert Road delays

The Waihohonu Stream Bridge was damaged by a truck crash in July 2017. Supplied photo.

The NZ Transport Agency is warning of almost three months of delays on SH1 Desert Road while the deck is replaced on the Waihohonu Stream Bridge.

Work starts Saturday. There will be two full closures and traffic over the bridge and at other times traffic will be reduced to one lane.

The full closures are now projected to take place on March 7 and April 4, but this is weather permitting and is subject to change. Each closure is expected be from 7am for around 36 hours. The alternative route is State Highway 46, 47, 4, and 49.

This route is not suitable for vehicles over 44 tonnes, apart from 50MAX which is permitted. High productivity motor vehicles can use the SH3 and SH3A route between Hamilton and Bulls.

Vehicles with over-weight loads or over-dimension loads wider than 3.0 metres will not be able to use the Desert Road section of SH1 for the next few months as it will not be possible to cross the Waihohonu Bridge.

The bridge was damaged by a truck crash in July 2017. The work was expected to start in late January but will now take place from Saturday February 17.

During this time road users can expect the bridge to be down to one lane, with some short closures of around 5 minutes. There will be a 30km/h limit in place.

There will also be multiple maintenance work sites on the Desert Road during this period and there are delays possible at other sites.

NZ Transport Agency Waikato Transport System Manager, Karen Boyt, says people using the Desert Road should check before they travel.

“People can expect to experience some delays and should use our website or call us on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS before setting off on their journey.

“The two closures are required to pour the concrete deck. One side will be poured during one closure and the other will be for poured during the second closure.

“We understand the inconvenience this closure and the maintenance work may cause and we’d like to apologise in advance for any disruptions, however this is important work that needs to be completed,” says Karen.

The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions nationwide is the NZTA website.

Important information is shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here.

Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information.


Mal C

Posted on 15-02-2018 16:24 | By Kenworthlogger

If you have an accident in your vehicle do you have to pay for any vehicle movements affected?

Roading repairs

Posted on 15-02-2018 14:07 | By Mal C

I hope the Trucking Operator whose truch damaged the bridge on the Desert Road is paying for the repair. Maybe they should pay for each vehicle inconvenienced by the detours or delays too. Did the driver receive a Trafic Offence Notice? Looks like it was winter conditions so bound to be icy or slippery from water but the road surface should be such that we can drive with confidence anyway despite the conditions. The Desert Road being SH1 is a disaster of a road and there has been no move to straighten it or improve the surface to cope with the coditions it is exposed to year in and year out. Shocking piece of road a disgrace to our country.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

Should the speed on SH2, between Katikati and Bethlehem, be reduced to 80km/h?