The Lewis Pass, State Highway 7, on the new alternate route between Picton and Christchurch, reopened before 9am today but drivers will need to take care as snow continues to fall across the central South Island.
“Crews have worked hard to clear the road of fallen trees at daybreak and ensure snow is cleared,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for the NZ Transport Agency. “But this route and Arthur’s Pass both require extreme care today and this weekend from all drivers. The snow is forecast to continue through the weekend so people need to check our traffic and travel pages (external link) for updates before they leave.
“We may get a rerun of Thursday night’s snow again tonight with little change forecast for all day Saturday. Our contracting teams will review this situation this afternoon. MetService is forecasting snow to 500 metres in the alpine areas. If people are planning on travelling through the Lewis Pass or Arthur’s Pass, they should not leave it too late today to get away and please take extra care.”
The other main route between the West Coast and Canterbury, Arthur’s Pass, SH73, requires chains and no towing vehicles are currently allowed.
MetService road snowfall warnings (external link) http://www.metservice.com/warnings/road-snowfall-warnings
Drivers on today’s route should expect a slower than usual journey with many trucks parked up overnight on either side of the Lewis Pass.
Drivers who are able to postpone their journeys through the Lewis Pass today and tomorrow are advised to do so.
This highway is closed from Hollyford Valley Road due to snow. This closure could remain in place until Saturday. Please check this site on our traffic and travel pages (external link) for updates.