UPDATE 12.40pm Wednesday 17 February: State Highway 5 has now reopened.
UPDATE 9.15am Wednesday 17 February: State Highway 47 is now open. Waka Kotahi is aiming to have State Highway 5 reopened by lunchtime.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises State Highway 47 and State Highway 5 are currently closed in the Central North Island, due to multiple large fallen trees blocking the road.
State Highway 47 is closed between the intersections with State Highway 41 and State Highway 46. Detours are in place, with northbound traffic directed to turn right on to SH46 then left on SH1 towards Turangi. Southbound traffic should take the same route, in reverse.
Detours for the State Highway 5 closure are significant, via Palmerston North or Gisborne.
Both roads are likely to remain closed overnight, with an update to be provided in the morning.
Waikato System Manager Cara Lauder says contractors are unable to remove the trees until the strong winds die down, making it safe to do so.
“Please follow the detours or to delay unnecessary travel where possible.
“These are big trees and people should steer clear of the area for their safety.”
Ms Lauder encourages motorists to check the Waka Kotahi interactive Journey Planner website for up-to-date information about their intended route before setting out.
“Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience.”
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