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The Transport Agency is working to improve the safety and journey experience for all road users and affected communities along the alternate route. 

The alternate road between Picton and Christchurch runs inland along State Highways 63, 6, 65 and 7 (Lewis Pass). Vehicle numbers along this route have risen four-fold since State Highway 1 closed – up to 8000 vehicles per day are now using this route. The increased traffic numbers is impacting on local communities.

Early stages of the route upgrade includes improving signage, installing new guard rails and electronic real-time speed information.

A safety review for each township is underway and will be completed in February. This is expected to recommend traffic measures such as speed reductions and extra information signs in the townships.

To ensure the route remains safe and reliable for all road users work will continue and is likely to include installing slow vehicle bays, widening and realigning sections of the highway, and resealing some areas because of the extra wear and tear on the road surface.

A winter maintenance programme is planned and Police will have a higher-than-usual presence along the route.

All roadworks will be coordinated to minimise disruption to road users and communities along the route.