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Working the roads . . . Drivers are encouraged to factor roadworks, like these on the State Highway/Evans St in Timaru, into their journey planning this summer as the New Zealand Transport Agency undertakes its "construction season'' during the warm, long days. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

South Canterbury drivers are encouraged to factor some extra into their travel time estimates as roadworks continue around the region over the summer, the NZ Transport Agency says.

South Canterbury maintenance contract manager John Keenan encouraged drivers to check the NZTA website’s “traffic and travel” section before travelling, to get an up-to-date information about roadworks, road closures and delays in travel time due to roadworks.

“Drivers should be aware at this time of year there may be multiple roadwork sites they will pass through so they should factor this into their travel plans.”

Mr Keenan said the summer period, from October to March, was the “construction season” when roads were resurfaced and rebuilt.

There could be minimal delays at some roadwork sites, usually between five to 10 minutes, he said.

“Expect to see active roadwork sites outside of the statutory holiday period [of] Christmas to New Year and please reduce your speeds accordingly,” he said.

Awareness of roadworks, delays and driver fatigue also tied in with the combined NZTA and NZ Police campaign, “We Want You Here for Christmas”, which was launched last Friday.

The campaign focused on the four main contributors to crashes – driving too fast for the conditions, unrestrained vehicle occupants, impairment (such as fatigue, drugs, or alcohol), and distractions (such as using a cellphone).

Mr Keenan also reminded motorists that the NZTA was working on the asphalt surfacing replacement on SH1 in Ashbury, by Northtown Mall in Timaru, until Saturday.

“The work is being carried out now because we need the warmer, drier weather to produce the best possible result.”

The roadworks, on the highway between Hobbs and Grassmere Sts, were mainly being done at night to minimise disruption.

He said each intersection along that section of road would be closed overnight at some point but local detours would be in place and signposted.

While local businesses could be accessed at any time, there would be no on-street parking on Evans St during the roadworks, which would end on Saturday.

“We will have the road back open to four lanes around 7am each morning.”

Other roadworks around the region included re-sealing works between Hinds and Rangitata until December 13.