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Gorge bridge work starting; expect delays

From Monday (September 5) motorists travelling on State Highway 3 through the Manawatu Gorge may experience short delays to their journey while routine bridge maintenance is carried out, the NZ Transport Agency is advising.

“We appreciate that the Manawatu Gorge is an important route for both people and freight so we have worked hard to put in place measures that minimise disruption to traffic, while still allowing our crews to do the required maintenance work safely. We considered whether we could undertake the work at night when traffic through the Gorge is less frequent, however this is not possible due to the nature of the work, ” Ross I’Anson, Highway Manager, NZ Transport Agency said.

From Monday 5 September, between 9am to 4pm a small section of the Gorge will operate as a single lane, controlled by temporary traffic lights. At these times, motorists can expect delays of around 5-10 minutes.

Between 4pm and 9am, the Gorge will be open to two lanes. To ensure that everyone travels through the work site safely, there will be a temporary speed limit of 30 km/h at the work site.

“Our crews will be working on nine bridge sites over an around 2km stretch of the Gorge, working on one bridge at time. Much of the maintenance work is taking place under the bridges, so crews won’t necessarily be visible from the road. We expect the work to take around three months, depending on the weather. We appreciate people’s patience while we ensure that the bridges on this route are safe and resilient."

Motorists can keep up to date on the status of the Gorge through our website, social media channels, and electronic variable messaging signs at Ashhurst and Woodville,” Mr I’Anson says.

“We encourage people to plan ahead if travelling through the Gorge. Regularly updated information is available from the Transport Agency’s traffic and travel information section on its website,, from the Transport Agency’s Central North Island Twitter account @NZTACNI  and Facebook page, or by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).” - NZ Transport Agency

4 October 2017

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