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Flooding update Canterbury and Ashburton River/ Hakatere Bridge, SH1 reopening 10pm tonight for light traffic


An update on the flooding situation in Canterbury.

Ashburton River/ Hakatere Bridge

The Ashburton River/ Hakatere Bridge on SH1 reopens for light traffic at 10 pm tonight, 1 June.*  The bridge will have two-way traffic, restricted to 30 km/ hour in each direction.

The bridge was closed this morning after drivers reported slumping on the deck at the Ashburton end. This evening it was load tested using a crane and 14 tonne weights by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

“The damaged pier, which sunk around 150mm during the recent one-in-100-year floods, is stable, based on the monitoring data received tonight,” says Pete Connors, System Manager for Waka Kotahi.

“Based on these results under load testing pressure each lane, the bridge can take light traffic,” he says.

Mr Connors thanked all local people and regular users of the bridge for their patience while this essential, precautionary load-testing was undertaken. He urged people to take it slowly on not just this bridge but local roads in coming days.

“Many roads will need patching and repairs after being under water and damaged by debris for 48 hours. There will be temporary speed limits in several places around the Canterbury region while crews catch up with that work.”

There is no access for pedestrians or cyclists at this stage.

A bridge closure Wednesday, 10 am to 2 pm

Load testing for heavier traffic (trucks) will be underway on Wednesday, 2 June, and there will be a late morning to early afternoon bridge closure involved. This will be 10 am to 2 pm.


“Waka Kotahi bridge engineers are working on the longer-term solutions for this bridge’s pier and we will keep the community informed as that is developed,” says Mr Connors.

Waka Kotahi System Manager Pete Connors, left, explains the stress loading systems used to test bridge piers to Ashburton District Council’s emergency operations centre staff and Mayor Neil Brown this afternoon.

Local road routes outside SH1 and other state highways

For local road details for journeys that do not involve the Ashburton River/ Hakatere Bridge, please check the links in red at the top of the Waka Kotahi page

Current state highway road closures across Canterbury(external link)

There are just two highway closures in place in Canterbury tonight:

SH73 Springfield to Castle Hill(external link)

Aiming to reopen late Thursday.

SH1 The Hinds River Bridge(external link)

With a short, local road detour signposted in place

All other state highways in Canterbury are now open, albeit with advice to take care and slow down as flooding debris is being cleared away today and this week.

*Light vehicles generally weigh less than 3.5 tonnes and are mostly  driven by Class 1 driver licence holders. Freight vehicles/trucks need to use alternate routes to get around Ashburton tonight and tomorrow until further load testing on Wednesday is available. Details of local roads open and maps are outlined on the Ashburton District Council’s webpage as at 8.40 pm tonight.

Ashburton District Council’s webpage(external link) 

Local council maps and directions for those alternate local road routes(external link)

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: