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Traffic 'chaos'

Stormwater upgrade delays traffic.

Gisborne drivers experienced big city frustration in major traffic jams on Wainui and Rutene roads this morning.

The jams were caused by the closure of the Rutene Road-Harris Street intersection for essential service upgrades between today and Friday.

Traffic banked up along Wainui Road from Reads Quay to Sponge Bay Road, and right along Rutene Road past the de Lautour Road roundabout, with some having to wait up to an hour to get through.

One motorist described it as “chaos”.

The works are part of the council's $2.6 million stormwater upgrade. It is installing a new pipe along Rutene Road to reduce flooding and wastewater discharges into rivers during wet weather.

Detours were in place and traffic management personnel were on site.

The removal of a detour, which allowed vehicles to move along Rutene Road and past the works got traffic flowing again.

Among the time casualties was today's meeting of the Gisborne District Council's finance and performance committee, which was delayed by 30 minutes. Several councillors were caught up in the traffic jam.

GDC 4 Waters infrastructure manager Neville West said contractors were reporting back to the council on why the traffic management plan was not effective.

“We are also looking at options to allow some traffic through the work site during the peak morning traffic if possible.

“The contractor has three excavations through to Friday that will close both lanes for a period of time. This is to lower a section of water main, lower a fibre optic cable and install a new manhole.

“We apologise for the level of disruption but hope the community bears with us while we undertake this critical work.”

Auckland came to Gisborne this morning when the closure of the Rutene Road/Harris Street intersection caused what one motorist described as traffic 'chaos' along Rutene Road and Wainui Road heading into the city. Motorists were waiting for up to an hour, as traffic was banked up on Wainui Road from the Gladstone Road Bridge end of town to Sponge Bay Road. The pictures in this gallery were taken along Rutene Road by Gisborne Herald photographer Paul Rickard. He could not get on to Wainui Road.
This photo was taken at the De Lautour Road/Rutene Road intersection. Pictures by Paul Rickard

  1. Rose says:

    Why didn’t they work at night?
    There are only 2 x 2-lane roads into town and 5000-plus people coming to work or school.
    $2.6mil and you couldn’t design a better traffic plan? Next time get a woman to do it.
    I took 40 mins to get to GBHS from Kaiti, 20 mins late!

    1. Trevor Lupton says:

      No issue for cyclists.

      1. G R Webb says:

        You don’t even live over our way.

      2. G R Webb says:

        It’s pretty clear that the solution the traffic gurus came up with was to stop the road closure at peak hours and let the traffic flow. The Civil Defence people might want to treat this as a live exercise and work out Plan B if one of the city bridges got taken out in an episodic event.

  2. Gary, ex-Gizzy says:

    Rose, the possiblity of doing this at night is near zero as large machinery has to used which is fairly noisy. Also, the compaction that happens when back-filling vibrates nearby houses which wouldn’t be fair on residents. It’s only for a few days, so plan to leave a little bit earlier.
    These are the guys who maintain and look after all the unseen infrastructure. They are out in storms, the sweltering heat of summer and the chilling southerlies. Cut them some slack.
    I’m pretty sure you enjoy turning your tap on to find water comes out or flushing your toilet to never see your waste again!

  3. S Wilkie says:

    Anything that disrupts traffic should be done at night. All that work gets done at night in Australia, when there’s not much traffic on the roads.

  4. Janet, Australia says:

    What a pathetic story. What, so it took 15 minutes to get to work instead of five? Get over yourselves.
    Hasn’t the lockdown taught you all that it’s best to take things more slowly?
    Do people seriously want those living nearby to be kept awake all night by noisy machinery?
    Do people believe that they have more right to a fast drive to work or school than people have the right to a peaceful night’s sleep?

  5. Simon says:

    One thing that may have eased the congestion would have been if they provided traffic controllers on Wainui Road to pause the traffic and allow people from the side roads to get in. That would have definitely helped to keep things flowing.

  6. W. Maynard says:

    You would’ve thought that with this activity being planned and the country being in lockdown for around four to five weeks, that would’ve been the ideal time to complete this activity.

    I’m sure special exemptions could have been applied for.

  7. Maria says:

    The road closure has been well advertised so shouldn’t have come as a surprise for anyone living on this side of town. I’m sure the majority of the people queuing could have either car-pooled, taken the bus, biked, walked or simply left home earlier . . .