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Canterbury highways weathering quake after shocks

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) says state highways in Canterbury are holding up well as the region continues to experience aftershocks following Saturday's earthquake.

NZTA Canterbury State Highways Operations Manager Peter Connors says NZTA staff, consultants and contractors are continually monitoring the state highway network in the region to ensure that it remains safe, with a particularly close watch being kept on state highway bridges to ensure their on-going safety.

“The aftershocks are a challenge for those assessing the highway network as well as for those involved in repairing the damage that has been sustained. Most of the quake repair work in the region involves smoothing humps in road surfaces along with refilling cracks and trenches left in the wake of Saturday’s quake.”

Mr Connors says one of the more challenging jobs will be repairing a 60 metre long drop out on State Highway 77 south of Glentunnel in Mid Canterbury. An assessment will have to be made on the best option for restoring this section of highway, making it difficult to predict when it may re-open. However, a two kilometre signposted detour is available around the affected site.

State Highway 74 is the only Canterbury highway currently is out of action due to earthquake damage. A detour using local roads is for light vehicles. All heavy commercial vehicles travelling to the Port of Lyttelton are asked to detour via SH 1 Johns Road to SH73 Yaldhurst Road and Brougham Street.

Mr Connors said the NZTA’s safety assessments and repair work would continue in the region as long they are required.

“A safe and usable state highway network is crucial to Canterbury to ensure the safe movement of the goods, services and people that we need to help re-build the region.”

Up to date information Canterbury state highways can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) or by phoning 0800 44 44 49.

For more information please contact:

Bob Nettleton - Regional Communications Advisor
T DDI 03 951 3005   
M  021 954 928   
E-mail bob.nettleton@nzta.govt.nz

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