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Flooding Otago, Canterbury – SH1 north of Dunedin open, but potholes, debris, single lanes in many places

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People are advised that essential travel only is advised today on highways and roads of Otago and Canterbury, south of Christchurch. Highways are slowing reopening in Otago with SH1 just reopened north of Dunedin.

But SH1 Rakaia to Rolleston, south of Christchurch, is unlikely to open today. Drivers can take SH77 at Ashburton, drive through Methven, Rakaia Gorge, Darfield and then SH73 into Christchurch. This will add at least an hour to the normal journey.

Potholes caused by the flooding are all over the roading network so drivers need to slow down, says Nic Rodger, Maintenance Contract Manager, NZ Transport Agency, Coastal Otago. Many areas will be down to one-lane with flooding debris near rivers and broken edges of highways and roads.

Snow and freezing conditions have been forecast so people need to remain alert later today and tomorrow regardless of whether the highways are open or not.

  • SH1 north of Dunedin has just reopened.
  • Pukeuri to the Waitaki Bridge in South Canterbury is closed with a detour in place. http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/177785(external link)
  • Due to rising levels on the Selwyn River, at State Highway 1, this morning was closed at Telegraph Road, south of Rolleston through to Rakaia. Drivers can take SH77 at Ashburton, drive through Methven, Rakaia Gorge, Darfield and then SH73 into Christchurch. This will add at least an hour to the normal journey.
  • Access between Dunedin and Port Chalmers (SH88) is closed due to a slip. 
  • Milton (travelling south from Dunedin): Currently flooding at Milton is preventing access to SH8 (to Central Otago) and SH1 (Invercargill).

Please check highway status at this web site(external link): www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link) and if you can avoid travel today, please do so.

Inmans bridge, Fairlie

Road crews are busy cleaning up around bridges and along highways for the rest of this weekend and over coming weeks. Drivers will need to take extreme care even when highways are reopened due to trees, silt, broken seal, river gravel and branches on the roads, particularly around river areas where flows do the most damage as seen at Inmans Bridge, Fairlie to Geraldine SH79, South Canterbury today.

NZTA South Island Facebook page posts(external link)

For Otago updates, please go to the Civil Defence and Emergency management page here(external link) or their Facebook page(external link):

Dunedin City Council’s flooding updates here(external link) and on Facebook.(external link)

Christchurch City Council Civil Defence Facebook(external link)

Selwyn District Council Facebook (external link)

State Highways: Warnings and closures

Canterbury (Including Alpine / Mountain Passes)

  • NEW: SH75 Halswell to Little River – Flooding – ROAD CLOSED
  • UPDATED: SH77 Ashburton to Methven - Flooding -  Road is now OPEN
  • UPDATED LOCATION:SH1 Rolleston to Rakaia - Flooding - ROAD CLOSED
  • UPDATED: Waiau to Kaikoura, Route 70 - Due to multiple slips and rockfalls, the inland road from Mt Lyford to Kaikoura is closed today. Please note: Access to Mt Lyford is open via Waiau and the Skifield at Mt Lyford is open today and tomorrow. Next update 12pm Sunday 23 July. ROAD CLOSED - past Mt Lyford.
  • SH1 Rakaia to Ashburton - Flooding- Road is OPEN. Road users are advised to avoid unnecessary travel and to take extra care.
  • SH82 Waimate to Kurow - Flooding - Road is OPEN.
  • SH79 Fairlie to Geraldine - Flooding - Road is open to one lane in sections.
  • SH1 Rolleston to Rakaia - Flooding – Detour in place - ROAD CLOSED
  • SH1 Ashburton to Washdyke - Flooding - Road users are advised to avoid unnecessary travel and to take extra care.

Timaru/ South Canterbury

  • Rains are receding and roads are slowly reopening but please note the need for care with many road surfaces damaged around river flow areas. (See photos above Inmans Bridge)

Otago

  • UPDATED: SH1 Oamaru to Waikouaiti - Flooding - ROAD is now OPEN – surface flooding
  • UPDATED: SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn - Flooding – Road is now OPEN
  • UPDATED: Closure location change: SH90 Waikoikoi to Tapanui - Flooding - ROAD CLOSED
  • UPDATED: SH 6 Haast To Hawea - Strong Winds – The winds have now EASED.
  • UPDATED LOCATION: SH 1 Pukeuri To Waitaki Bridge - Flooding  - ROAD CLOSED
  • UPDATED LOCATION: SH1 Balclutha to Milton - Flooding - ROAD CLOSED
  • SH 83 Pukeuri To Omarama - Flooding  - Road is OPEN in both directions. Road users are advised to take extra care due to surface flooding.
  • SH8 Roxburgh to Raes Junction - Flooding - ROAD CLOSED
  • SH8 Raes Junction to Milton - Flooding - ROAD CLOSED
  • SH88 Maia to Sawyers Bay - Flooding - ROAD CLOSED
  • SH87 Kyeburn to Outram - Flooding - ROAD CLOSED
  • SH 1 East Taieri To Clarksville - Flooding  
  • SH 87 Mosgiel To Outram - Surface Water - Road users are advised to take extra care.
  • SH 1 Waikouaiti To Waitati - Surface Water - Road users are advised to take extra care.
  • SH 8 Raes Junction To Alexandra – Flooding

Southland

  • UPDATED: SH 94 Mirror Lakes To Gulliver River Bridge - Strong winds have now EASED.

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