Arthur’s Pass highway, SH73, reopening 11 am today


The Arthur’s Pass/Otira gorge route linking the West Coast and Canterbury will reopen at 11 am today.

SH73 was closed Monday afternoon when a slip above the Rock Shelter,  on the Otira/ West Coast side, spilled material, including large boulders, onto the road, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.  

One truck and trailer unit was parked up under the shelter and its driver safely relocated. 

“Thanks to all drivers and regular road users for your patience and taking the Lewis Pass route over the past two days,” says Moira Whinham, Waka Kotahi Maintenance Contract Manager for the West Coast. 

“The helicopter sluicing yesterday has resolved this issue in the short term. A more permanent solution is currently being explored.” 

The Rock Shelter was built in 2001 after the Viaduct was completed. It was built to protect road users and their vehicles from rockfall and slips which regularly occur at this part of the winding road between the top of Arthur’s Pass and Otira.

helicopter pouring water over the slip material at the rock shelter

Sluicing the slip material at the Rock Shelter on SH73 Tuesday this week (19 October)


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