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State Highway 1 south of Kaikōura , extra delays on Hundalees as work intensifies for SH1 reopening

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Drivers using State Highway 1 south of Kaikōura should allow four hours for the trip to or from Christchurch as work intensifies leading into the 15 December opening of the highway north and south.

The shortest journey to and from Kaikōura for the next few weeks will be via the Inland Road (Route 70, through Waiau and Mt Lyford) which currently takes around three hours.

A further significant ramp up of work on the Hundalees, the hills south of Oaro, to complete road retaining wall repairs, means there are now several one-lane worksites with stop/go control adding to overall travel times. The highway has limited hours* of opening currently so crews can work on the slip sites south of Peketa with minimal traffic interruptions.

NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager, Tresca Forrester, says this ramp up is part of the ‘final big push’ on all SH1 earthquake repair sites to get as much done as possible before the highway reopens to the north and south on 15 December.

“The Hundalee retaining walls require extensive construction with cranes working in one of the narrow lanes to install large steel beams and timber walls behind the damaged gabion retaining walls,” says Ms Forrester.

“The Inland Road via Waiau, while winding and more challenging to drive, is currently providing reliable travel times of around three hours. While there is ongoing road maintenance and repair work along this route also, the delays on this road are much shorter than on SH1 south currently.

“NCTIR (the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery team) recognises the impact of these long delays on people’s patience using this stretch of SH1. That is why we recommend people make an informed choice on the best way for them to get to and from Kaikōura for the next few weeks. We think the Inland Road (Route 70) is a good travel alternative.”

*Reminder: SH1 south of Kaikōura – open/closed schedule between Goose Bay and Peketa

State Highway 1 between Goose Bay and Peketa has a schedule of days when the road is either open or closed to the public.

Multiple slip resilience work is being completed in this section of narrow coastal corridor. Drivers need to check the open/closed schedule before travelling on www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic (external link) or phone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

Alternatively motorists can use the Inland Road via Waiau (Route 70) which is open 24/7.

  • This week: Monday 20 November – Friday 24 November (inclusive): SH1 south of Kaikōura between Goose Bay and Peketa is closed to the public.
  • This weekend: Saturday 25 November – Sunday 26 November (inclusive): SH1 south of Kaikōura between Goose Bay and Peketa is open to the public 7am-8pm (closed overnight).
  • Monday 27 November – Friday 1 December (inclusive): SH1 south of Kaikōura between Goose Bay and Peketa is closed to the public.

The weekly Kaikōura earthquake Bulletin, available on this page, provides updates on highway openings and schedules leading into the 15 December full highway opening:

The current schedule* for SH1 South of Kaikōura between Peketa and Goose Bay is:

DATE

OPEN HOURS

STATUS

Thursday 16 November

Closed to the public (local-only convoys) – use the Inland Road for travel.

Normal schedule

Friday 17, Saturday 18,
Sunday 19 November

Open to the public 7am-8pm (closed overnight).

Normal schedule

Monday 20 November – Friday 24 November

Closed for the public. Local convoys at 7am and between 6 to 8pm each day. Closed overnight.

Scheduled closure week

Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November

Open 7am to 8pm for public. Closed overnight.

Normal schedule

Monday 27 November – Friday 1 December

Closed for the public. Local convoys at 7am and between 6 to 8pm each day.

Scheduled closure week

Saturday 2 , Sunday 3 and
Monday 4 December

Open 7am to 8pm for public. Closed overnight.

Normal schedule

*Note this schedule can change at any time due to weather, seismic or other conditions. The Inland Road (Route 70) is open 24/7 for travel.

https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/kaikoura-earthquake-response/

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