Sunday, April 21, 2024

Cove Road truck restrictions reinstated

In the lead up to the reopening of the eastern Brynderwyns detour route (Kaiwaka/Mangawhai/Waipu), authorities have confirmed that restrictions will again apply to truck and trailer units.

The reopening of Kaiwaka-Mangawhai Road is on track for late this weekend (March 11 and 12) following completion of work on a large slip near Hilltop Road. This will also allow for the opening of the eastern Brynderwyns detour route that traverses Kaipara and Whangarei districts, from Kaiwaka through Mangawhai to Waipu, Northland Regional Council confirmed today.

While last week’s reopening of SH1 northbound through the Brynderwyns has provided a more direct option for northbound traffic, for those travelling southbound in the meantime, the recommended Brynderwyns detour routes continue to be Paparoa-Oakleigh Road and SH12, and for heavy vehicles SH14 and SH12.

Once the eastern detour route is reopened, it will be the primary southbound route for light vehicles and authorities are keen to avoid the disruptions and safety risks previously encountered as truck and trailer units attempted to negotiate tight bends on the road.

Truck and trailer units were previously restricted from using Cove Road between Mangawhai and Waipu using the powers available under the national state of emergency. These new restrictions on truck and trailer units will be done under Land Transport Amendment Act 2017, Section 16a.

This Act allows for the road controlling authority to restrict truck and trailer units in much the same way as the previous restrictions, to prevent further damage to these already fragile roads and to help elevate the safety issues truck and trailer units can cause along this route while there is an increase in traffic volumes.

Waka Kotahi and partners Northland Transportation Alliance (the shared service model of collaboration between the Whangarei, Far North, and Kaipara District Councils), along with Northland Police and Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group have been working together and have advised transport industry representatives.

Northland Road Policing staff will be taking a proactive approach and conducting patrols along the route. There will also be increased signage in place.

Heavy Vehicle traffic should be limited to vehicles only servicing the local areas.

The restriction is presently in force until 30 June 2023; however, this will be reviewed when the Brynderwyns is fully opened to traffic in both directions.

Northland Transportation Alliance General Manager, Calvin Thomas, acknowledged that this may cause some disruption for the freight industry, with the continued recommended southbound detour route being via SH12/14 and asked all parties to show co-operation and understanding.

He asked members of the public to be aware that trucks (without trailer units) servicing the local area are permitted to be on the eastern detour route.

Those caught breaching the restrictions could be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.

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