Traffic is in gridlock at Awakino Gorge on State Highway 3.
Motorists travelling State Highway 3 through the Awakino Gorge were advised to delay travel or avoid the area if possible – the highway was in gridlock on Monday afternoon.
Lines of vehicles have come to a halt on both lanes in the gorge, where traffic lights have been controlling the flow of traffic for months as work progresses on the Awakino Tunnel bypass.
Police initially said the traffic lights were not working correctly, causing the traffic to back up, and sent construction workers to fix the problem.
But it turned out the problem wasn’t the traffic lights. It was people being impatient and jumping the gun at the lights, a police spokesperson said.
”People were heading through the lights when they shouldn’t have. Take a breather, you’ll get there.”
Motorist Mike Watson said the traffic was bumper to bumper between the four sets of traffic lights in the gorge.
At 5pm Watson estimated he had moved 1km in the past hour. Both lanes were travelling at a similar rate.
“They should have had stop/go people on today,” he said.
Numerous travellers posted to Facebook they had been stuck for more than an hour.