Road workers report “worrying trend” at BOP sites

People are being asked to reduce their speeds at road work sites. File photo/Supplied.

Road work contractors across the Bay of Plenty are reporting an increase in speeds near their worksites.

This is a worrying trend, and this behaviour puts our people at risk should someone make a mistake, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Bay of Plenty system, maintenance and operations manager Roger Brady.

Roger says roadworks are a necessary part of keeping the state highway network operational and the associated traffic management is necessary to keep everyone safe.

“At almost every worksite we set up a reduced speed limit is in place for the work area, including safety areas before and after, to ensure road users are driving at a speed that will keep our crews safe, especially when they are working right next to live traffic.

“Our crews are telling us that they have noticed a significant increase in non-compliance with temporary speed limits over recent weeks, which has coincided with increased traffic volumes since the new school term commenced.

“Their message is simple - if everyone drives at the correct speed past worksites it makes crews on site feel safe, which makes them work more productively.

“Everyone is working hard and wants to go home to loved ones afterwards. Everyone in the Bay of Plenty community has a part to play in keeping crews safe.”

Bridge strengthening work at the Omanawa River Bridge on State Highway 29, has a reduced speed limit of 30km/h over the bridge.

Roger says reducing the speed of the traffic ensures bridge vibrations are minimised, which will result in a successful application.

“We acknowledge that it is challenging when the work is taking place under the bridge, as it is not readily apparent why the temporary speed limit is in place.

“We have increased the number of safe hit sticks on site and added extra electronic message signs to supplement our initial traffic management to alert people to why it’s in place.

“At this site we need people to slow down. The lower speed limit is in place to ensure the strengthening product adheres appropriately.

“There is a safety risk if people are not slowing down, and we may need to extend the timeframe of our work or change our traffic management setup to stop/go or other similar setups to force people to slow down.

“Where possible we try to accommodate road users, such as the initiative to have a toll-free period for westbound traffic on the SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road.

“This aims to reduce traffic on the Te Puke Highway while work takes place to stabilise the Kaituna Riverbank.”

This is in place for a three-week period between May 16 and June 3, from 4pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday.

Roger says Downer are completing two asphalt resurfacing sites in Bethlehem and Tauriko over the next fortnight to round out the renewal season, and it is important to drive safely past any worksite, especially when there is large machinery in operation.

He says next summer will be another busy period for the region, with $25 million being invested into state highway maintenance, along with the infrastructure project delivery and works delivered by the local Councils.

People are recommended that road users check the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner before heading out.

“Our Journey Planner is the most up-to-date source of information for work taking place on the state highway network. Keep yourself informed and plan your journey to minimise any potential disruption or delays.”

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7 Comments

What does NZTA expect?

Posted on 19-05-2022 07:07 | By Lund

We are thoroughly sick of the works around Katikati. Cones and works been the normal for years. We are cone/worker immune and intolerant. And now roundabouts and median barrier dividing our community. Road to Zero at all costs. NZTA have no respect from me.

NZTA need to revise their restrictions.

Posted on 18-05-2022 19:49 | By TheCameltoeKid

What is really annoying is this concept of restrictions coming in for over a kilometre before the worksite and carrying on for a kilometre after. And how much does it cost us to have thousands of road cones snd people sitting in their trucks playing on their phones (so-calle) monitoring the site. I’m all for restrictions at the roadworks when crews are working but at the end of they days more often than not these restrictions are unnecessary and to not change over the signs is plain laziness. It’s obvious that NZTA are sending their staff on junkets the the United Kingdom to bring back their ideas even though the UK has over 68 million people and New Zealand has only 5 million people despite being a bigger Country. NZTA have the bare-faced cheek to complain about problems at their worksites even though they’ve caused these problems in the first place.

Kancho

Posted on 18-05-2022 19:48 | By Yadick

Nails it perfectly. 100% right.

Unfortunately

Posted on 18-05-2022 12:54 | By Kancho

Sure slower speeds where work is going on but multiple kilometres with absolutely nothing happening and no work crews . Slower too for bad surfaces or new seal but often neither of those either. I certainly see people going faster and I suspect many use the road everyday and get frustrated. I slowed down and in no time got a long tail back . No wonder really. Conversely in a queue and the whole lot traveling a bit faster when no work was taking place , going with traffic flow

No excuse, but....

Posted on 18-05-2022 12:39 | By The Professor

....maybe people are fed up with the constant reviews on state highways and the desire by NZTA to reduce all speed limits. Journey times are increasing significantly so maybe drivers don’t want to slow down due to ’lost’ time on roads which should be 100 or 110 but are 80, 70 or 60.

Maunganui road closure a disgrace

Posted on 18-05-2022 12:14 | By jed

For such a small amount of road works, closing the entire road is lazy and shows a lack of thought.

Definitely A Worry

Posted on 18-05-2022 11:38 | By Yadick

Due to idiots impatience, and those speeding through these worksites are idiots, a family could be wiped out and/devastated for life. It’s really simple SLOW DOWN PEOPLE. I abide to the speed limits BUT at the same time some of these posted speed reductions are ridiculous. Most don’t need to be there after hours and weekends. It is just laziness to not take them down. Yes, certainly some need to stay. To post a 30kph speed zone on Cameron Road when the roadworks are on the opposite side and separated by an almighty traffic island and rows of cones is ludicrous. So yeah, definitely slow down but roadworkers need to look at putting signage up and down too.

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