The New Zealand Transport Agency says roadworks and the impact of wet weather resulted in unacceptable delays on State Highway 1 around Paekakariki on the Kapiti Coast.
Peak hour, southbound commuters were frustrated by delays of up to one and a half hours this morning and holiday makers returning home on Sunday afternoon faced one and half to two hour delays.
Surface flooding which blocked one lane of State Highway 1 near Paekakariki contributed to this morning's delays, but was resolved by 9am.
NZTA's regional operations manager Mark Owen said roadworks required dry weather, and unfortunately there was a sudden dump of rain in the middle of the job, causing extensive delays.
"We share the frustration of drivers and thank everyone sincerely for their patience. We assure the public that while further delays are expected for southbound traffic in coming days, we are working hard to keep these to a minimum. As soon as we get a spell of dry weather, we'll be laying down a temporary smooth surface to make driving easier and safer.
"Even with people returning to work, commuter traffic levels are lower in January which generally makes roadworks less disruptive. On this occasion, however, the roadworks and the impact of the weather have resulted in unacceptable delays, and we need to do better," Mr Owen said.
Drivers have expressed frustration with NZTA carrying out the road works during busy holiday times but NZTA spokesman Rod James said the roadworks were specifically planned for this time of year when traffic levels were at their lowest and work could be carried out with the minimal disruption.
- The Dominion Post
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