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The Waka Kotahi New Zealand (NZ) Transport Agency is monitoring and maintaining the network of state highways in Taranaki, ensuring the safe movement of essential goods during the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

All non-essential work has been paused. The maintenance of the state highways is deemed important as it supports functions required to limit the spread of the virus.

Taranaki System manager Ross I’Anson said: “The Level 4 lockdown requires us to undertake essential maintenance activities only.

“Unless there are major weather-related events that require slip clearing and damage repairs, the primary and ongoing focus will be on the safety of the network.”

I’Anson further added that no new maintenance work will be commenced.

However, NZ Transport Agency is continuing existing works, including line-marking and rumble strip replacement and repair. These repairs are usually carried out under an annual or twice-yearly programme.

Critical maintenance work, road surfacing repairs and fixing of potholes will be performed as part of these works.

In addition, drainage works and the repair or replacement of damaged road signs and median barriers will help to maintain the network.

The maintenance work is carried out in line with Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidance.

I’Anson added: “All other non-essential maintenance, including scheduled resealing is on hold until the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. With the changing seasonal weather, some bigger resealing projects will be deferred until the next maintenance season.

“We have five crews out on the network each day, with others supporting as needed. Where each crew would usually have two or three people in a vehicle, we now have each person in a separate vehicle, and they maintain social distancing while working.”