Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Stratford District Council are encouraging people to keep the Forgotten World Highway and other popular State Highway 43 attractions on their road trip plans this summer.
Due to a large slip, a detour is in place for SH43, which has been closed to all through traffic at Tunnel Hill, Aukopae (23km west of Taumarunui) since October.
NZ Transport Agency Taranaki System Manager Mark Owen says while still weather dependent, the road is expected to be temporarily reinstated to one lane ahead of Christmas and, in the meantime, a detour is in place, ensuring both locals and visitors can continue to access popular locations in the area.
“Work to reinstate the road to one lane is progressing well.
“However, we want to assure people popular Forgotten World Highway destinations, such as Whangamomona, are still accessible. These can be accessed as normal if travelling from Stratford or via the detour route if travelling west. Businesses located north of the road closure can be accessed from Taumarunui,” says Mr Owen.
When travelling north along SH43 to Taumarunui, motorists should follow the signposted detour along Mangaparo Road, Ohura Road and Okahukura Saddle Road onto State Highway 4 to Taumarunui.
Those travelling south should turn off SH4 onto Okahukura Saddle Road, then Ohura Road and Mangaparo Road onto SH43.
This detour adds at least 40 minutes to the journey between Taumarunui and Stratford.
Stratford District Mayor, Neil Volzke says he is encouraged by the Transport Agency’s efforts to have the road repaired quickly, endeavouring to have it partly re-instated prior to Christmas.
“They have listened to our concerns and recognise the urgency for the repairs.
“The tourist season is in full swing and we need to ensure that visitor orientated businesses along the SH43 route can maximise their opportunities.”
“In the meantime, with the detour available, motorists can still travel the bulk of the Forgotten World Highway between Stratford and Taumarunui, and it gives travellers a chance to explore even more of the picturesque countryside this district has to offer,” says Mayor Volzke.
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