The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZ Transport Agency) has resumed state highway works in Waikato after the government reduced coronavirus-related restrictions.

Earlier this week, New Zealand downgraded to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 following a successful lockdown period.

The country moved to Alert Level 4 on 26 March to restrict the spread of Covid-19. During the lockdown, all non-essential road maintenance work and capital project work were suspended.

Key highway works that have resumed include the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway project, resealing, kerb and channel work on State Highway 2 Ngatea Main Street and Awakino Tunnel Bypass work on State Highway 3.

Multiple restrictions were implemented to ensure the safety of workers and road users.

NZ Transport Agency director of regional relationships Steve Mutton said: “A range of new measures will need to be in place, including restricted access to sites, requirements for workers to maintain physical distancing, and the use of additional protective clothing.

“At all Waka Kotahi sites, crews will go through a Covid-19 induction and learn the new practices and protocols (for that site / project) to keep them, the surrounding community and road users safe.

“Crews will form small working ‘bubbles’, who will stick together throughout the day while maintaining safe social distance, and where they are working away from home, will also share accommodation and travel bubbles.”

New Zealand has reported a total of 1,476 coronavirus cases, as of 30 April. The number of new cases in the last few days reduced to single digits.