Despite the rapid recent population growth, it’s been a point of pride that Wanaka was still small enough to not have any traffic lights; but that halcyon period is about to come to an end with the installation of permanent traffic lights at the Albert Town Bridge.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Aspiring Highways team will begin work on Monday, February 11, and is expected to be completed by early April.
The new permanent traffic signals will be able to adapt to traffic demand using radar. This will ensure traffic flows as efficiently as possible across the one lane bridge. The new signals will have a camera to monitor traffic flow and can be remotely operated.
Special consideration has been given to cyclists, with buttons included at both ends of the bridge to allow them to cross.
“By installing the traffic signals we’re ensuring the ongoing safe and efficient operation of the bridge into the future,” says Mark Stewart, Maintenance Contract Manager, for the Transport Agency.
“We considered carrying out the work at night to minimise effects on road users, however, due to the nature of the work including working at heights above fast flowing water, this is not safely possible.”
During the first two weeks there will be delays between 9am and 4pm when traffic will be intermittently stopped on both sides of the bridge. Outside 9am to 4pm, Stop/Go will be in place and no significant delays are expected. An alternative route is available via Camphill Road, Kane Road, SH8A and SH6.