Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency road crews will be getting a break from today (Thursday, 22 December) through to Wednesday, 4 January 2023.
Looking into the New Year, maintenance, full road reconstruction and re-sealing on key highways in Canterbury and adjoining regions means drivers will need to keep closely informed as they travel into and out of Canterbury, says Mark Pinner, System Manager for Waka Kotahi Central South Island.
This is particularly important for people who drive overnight in January, he says. “We will further update details in the New Year, however an early overview is being provided to avoid surprises,” he says. “People should add an hour onto their summer journeys in 2023.”
For general Hotspots/ Holiday Journey busy times into and out of Christchurch, Queenstown/Wanaka and Nelson and Blenheim/Picton, check this map with peak times from earlier Xmas periods.
“We have scheduled some key pieces of work overnight to limit the effects upon daytime holiday travellers,” says Mr Pinner. “This impacts much more upon our freight drivers, so this work has to be carefully co-ordinated so they have an alternative, reliable route.”
This work is scheduled for four nights 9 pm to 5 am with an opening between midnight and 12.30 am each night to let traffic through in both directions. Parapet Rock is north of Cave Stream/Castle Hill and south of Lake Pearson.
Marlborough Roads work on the Weld Pass, SH1, south of Blenheim, is scheduled for two weeks at night, Sunday night, 22 January to Friday, 3 February.
While the work in Marlborough is underway, there will be maintenance work done further south on the Hundalee curves, south of Kaikōura. This will take around four nights, Sunday night, 22 January through to Wednesday, 25 January, 10 pm to 5 am, also with one night opening slot – details/ time to be confirmed in the New Year.
This sealing work will close SH1 in Amberley 9 pm to 5 am, Friday, 13 January to Monday, 23 January. A local detour will be in place for all traffic with just a few minutes added to the journey overall.
The Canterbury contracting team will do essential maintenance work on the Bealey River Bridge and Bruce Stream Bridge near Arthur’s Pass during the daytime, at this stage likely to be from Monday, 30 January for up to 15 days, excluding Waitangi Weekend moratorium, 3-6 February. There are likely to be 15-minute openings at the top of each hour so people can get in and out from Castle Hill and Arthur’s Pass Village. More confirmations/details in the New Year.
Lewis Pass drivers will need to take a different route or avoid overnight travel for two weeks, from Tuesday, 7 February through to Tuesday night, 21 February, 9 pm to 5 am. Full road rehabilitation/ reconstruction will be underway around an area called Engineers Camp.
Alternative routes are via SH73 Arthur’s Pass between the West Coast and Canterbury, or SH1 via Kaikōura.
The final sealing of SH1, Cam River to Tram Road, was postponed due to wet weather and is now rescheduled for Wednesday, 11 January – Friday, 20 January. Work is planned during the day and overnight, with a detour through Kaiapoi the weekend of 14 and 15 January.
This work is also scheduled for the New Year, Sunday, 29 January to Friday, 3 February, and may cause some directional closures overnight.
A large work programme over days and nights across the North Canterbury highway maintenance area is scheduled with around 50% completed to the end of 2022.
People driving between Christchurch and Picton, Christchurch and Nelson or Christchurch and the West Coast should add an hour to the usual journey times in the New Year.
Going further south into Otago or Southland? Read more safety advice and key routes with maintenance in 2023.