Juggling act to get roadworks done

SLOW GOING: Roadworks being carried out in Rangitikei St
SLOW GOING: Roadworks being carried out in Rangitikei St

Doing roadworks is a bit like changing your shoes while you are still running, says NZ Transport Agency Palmerston North state highways manager David McGonigal.

Manawatu Standard readers have complained about the timing of roadworks being carried out in Rangitikei St in the lead-up to the annual return to school and contractors not making use of weekends.

But Mr McGonigal said it was a matter of putting up with short-term pain for long-term gain to keep busy roads in good, safe condition.

The resurfacing between Featherston St and Tremaine Ave is a $400,000 NZTA project on the state highway, and has been timed to fit in with city council responsibilities for new road markings.

"The fact that we are dovetailing this work with Palmerston North City Council means less disruption for people, as the work can be done all together," Mr McGonigal said.

Contractors were unable to make progress on the project last weekend when commuter traffic was lighter because roadworks were put on hold to avoid disruption of the New Zealand Classic men's cycling race.

Mr McGonigal said the section from Featherston St to Queen Elizabeth College was completed, which would reduce inconvenience for back-to-school traffic. "While work was undertaken during morning hours, due to the six-lane configuration we were able to keep traffic flowing, and ultimately get the work done sooner."

He defended the amount of signage in place warning of the 30kmh speed limit through the site, and of the uneven surface. "We encourage motorists and cyclists to pay close attention to these signs as roadworks sites can be hazardous if signs are not observed."

The work is expected to be finished tomorrow.

Manawatu Standard