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Travel disruptions ahead for State Highway 53

Four weeks of sealing works on State Highway 53 between Featherston and Martinborough got under way on Monday. PHOTO/SUE TEODORO

Drivers who regularly use State Highway 53 should expect delays in the next four weeks as a road sealing daytime project starts on Monday.

The New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi announced four weeks of Stop-Go disruption at various sites on the Featherston to Martinborough route and for drivers to plan ahead.

Contractors began sealing the entrances of rural driveways on SH53 as part of a wider NZTA project to improve motorcycle safety.

NZTA Regional Transport Systems manager Mark Owen said SH53 had been identified as one of the 20 most popular motorcycle routes in New Zealand and that its safety was imperative.

“One of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes is loss of control due to loss of traction on the road surface,” he said.

“Safety is Waka Kotahi’s top priority, and we are continuously looking at ways to make our roads safer for everyone who uses them.

“In rural areas, where debris gets tracked on to the road from vehicles using adjacent unsealed or gravelled driveways, sealing driveway entrances is an easy way to reduce the volume of loose material migrating on to the state highway.”

NZTA said the sealing project might be postponed due to weather conditions and unforeseen factors.

The roadworks on SH53 were scheduled to be completed by June 4.

SH53 wasn’t the only highway to be impacted by roadworks as State Highway 2, from Mt Bruce to Masterton, is undergoing evening repairs this week with a Stop-Go site in place until today.

Roadwork schedule:

State Highway 53 [Featherston to Martinborough] 7am-5pm.

State Highway 2 [Mt Bruce to Masterton] 7pm-5.30am.

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