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Information about planned maintenance work to ensure the safety and resilience of the state highway network in the Waikato region.

Maintaining your roads

With the weather getting warmer it means our summer maintenance season can get underway. Our 2021/22 state highway maintenance programme will help ensure the safety and resilience of the network in the Waikato region.

More than $80 million will be spent on maintenance across approximately 1695km of state highway in the Waikato in the 2021/2022 maintenance season.

Some of the region's significant work sites this season will include road renewals on the Napier-Taupō Highway (State Highway 5), between Taupō to Turangi and also on the SH1 Desert Road.

We will be keeping this page up to date with information on this year’s programme.

While we aim to do this work with as little disruption as possible, there will inevitably be delays to journeys. We encourage motorists to plan ahead using the journey planner to minimise delays.

Please drive carefully through work sites, keep to the temporary speed limits and be respectful of our crews who are working hard to maintain the roads.

Latest news

SH29 Kaimai Range partial overnight closure from Sunday 21 November(external link) – Media release 27 October 2021

Road maintenance season underway around Taupō(external link) – Media release 12 October 2021

See all news across this region(external link)

Waikato state highway maintenance sites

Updated November 2021

Road renewals

Road renewal involves ripping up the road and rebuilding it. These jobs usually take several weeks to complete and often impact journey times.

Network

Road renewals

Timings

Central

SH1 Puriri West (northbound passing lane area between Puriri Road and West Road)

Four weeks
October – November 2021

Central

SH32 Whakamaru Township (between property numbers 5-29)

Four weeks
November – December 2021

Central

SH1 Kiko Road (immediately north of Motuoapa township)

Three weeks
November 2021

Central

SH1 Te Rangiita (300m north of Kiko Road)

Two weeks November – December 2021

Central

SH1 Ramsey’s Hill (2.5km north of SH1/Oruanui Road intersection)

One week
November 2021

Central

SH5 Taharua Road (500m south-east of SH5/Taharua Road intersection)

Five weeks
November – December 2021

Central

SH5 Fitzgerald Glade (at SH5/Tapapa Road intersection)

Three weeks
November – December 2021
East SH29 Kaimai Ranges uphill passing lane section between SH28 and Hanger Road SH29 Two weeks November 2021
East Kaimai Ranges Downhill section Between SH28 and Hanger Road  Three weeks November – December 2021
East SH25/ Boat Harbour intersection Two weeks January – February 2022
East SH29 Kaimai Ranges section between SH28 and Hanger Road Two weeks
February – March 2021

West

Renewal and drainage work on SH39 north of Pirongia, near Mangarino Stream bridge

One week drainage,
Three weeks renewals
October 2021 – February 2022

West SH1 Hamilton City near Massey Street traffic signals Two to three weeks
December 2021 - February 2022
West Heavy maintenance renewals and reseal work SH1B south of Huntly Expressway Gordonton Interchange Two weeks
December 2021 – March 2022

Road resurfacing

Road resurfacing includes both chipseal and asphalt resurfacing. 

Network Road renewals Timings

Central

Te Poporo / Bulli Point

December 2021

Central Main asphalt programme Starts February 2022
Central Chipseal programme Starts November 2021
East SH27 chipseal November 2021
East SH25 Coromandel chipseal programme November – December 2021
West

Main asphalt programme (network wide)

October 2021 to March 2022

West

Chipseal programme (network wide)

October 2020 to March 2022

In addition to our resurfacing and renewal programmes, we also undertake an extensive programme of routine maintenance works including sealing cracks at specific sites and undertaking pavement repairs that need to be completed ahead of resealing in 2021 and 2022. 

Tips for driving on freshly laid chip seal

  • 30km is okay. Leave space
  • 50km is too fast = Damage
  • 10km is too slow = The road will stick to you

Questions and answers

What is the resealing (chip sealing) process?

Prior to resealing we identify any areas of the road base (also known as the pavement) that require strengthening, and these are repaired in advance, known as a ‘pre-reseal repair’.

When we come to reseal a road, we first apply a thin layer of bitumen onto the existing road. Then a layer of sealing chip is applied onto the bitumen. The sealing chips are rolled into the bitumen to provide initial bond. The road is then re-opened to traffic under a temporarily reduced speed limit of 30km. Loose chips are swept up and the site is road marked, normally within 48 hours of sealing, at which point the temporary speed limit is increased to 50km. Further sealing chip compaction occurs with managing the traffic over the site, and after a few more days the site is swept again and the temporary speed limit removed.

Why is resealing work undertaken during summer?

Warmer spring and summer months are the best time for resurfacing as daylight hours are longer and the warm temperatures and dry air help the new seal stick to the road surface. Warm weather helps ensure the new seal becomes strong and long lasting.

Bitumen is a liquid when it is hot and hard when cold. It can crack in cold weather, and wet road conditions will affect the bond between the bitumen and the road, leading to chip seal failures.

During the peak summer months it is a balance to programme as much work as we can before schools return, while the roads are quieter, whilst also minimising the effect on people’s holiday travel.

Why is there traffic management when nobody is working on site?

Even when there is no one on site working, we may leave temporary speed limits, signs and cones in place to protect road users. We need to consider reduced visibility, temporary surfaces, weather and changes to the road layout that people may not be used to.

When motorists disregard traffic management, they put their safety, that of other road users and our road workers at risk.

Why isn’t maintenance work completed at night?

Where possible, we work at night to minimise disruption to drivers on key routes. However, night work is more high risk for road workers. We are restricted by various factors, such as noise restrictions, which are intended to ensure residents adjacent to works are treated considerately too.

We also need to consider our proximity to other infrastructure, such as overhead power lines, which may pose a health and safety risk to our teams on the ground.

Why don’t we use asphalt on all state highway roads?

Asphalt is a significantly more expensive surface when compared to chipseal, and as such we need to use a mix of asphalt and chipseal surfacing to provide a network of roads that can be well-maintained into the future. We tend to use chipseal on long straight sections of State Highways that have lower volumes of traffic.  Asphalt tends to be used on tight corners, at intersections or high-volume sections of road, where the stress factors related to vehicle movements are increased.

Why are you resealing the road?

The seal on a road is like paint on your house – it keeps water out of the structure underneath. Like paint, the seal breaks down over time and starts to let water in.

When the surface of a road starts to break down it indicates that it is time to reseal. The ideal time to reseal is just before any damage occurs, so your road may still look like it is in good condition when we complete the reseal.

You completed a renewal last year, why are you sealing the road again this year?

All renewals receive a ‘second-coat’ seal the year after they are re-built.  This is due to the initial renewal only including a single coat of chip seal, which is then allowed to settle for approximately 12 months.  The second coat is then added to provide a thick, durable layer of chip seal, waterproofing the surface underneath.  This process prevents ‘flushing’, which is where the bitumen rises to the surface of the road, making it shiny and slippery.