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Focus on highway repairs and damage assessment as floodwaters recede

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says its contractors are out in force carrying out damage assessments and repairs on state highways in the region following this week’s torrential rain and flooding.

All state highways in the region have now re-opened, with the exception of State Highway 94 from Cascade Creek to the Chasm, which has suffered extensive damage and will remain closed until further notice. 

NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager Peter Brown says while all other state highways in the region are open, there are temporary speed restrictions, lane closures and traffic control in place in many locations as contractors continue the clean-up and repair work needed to return the roads to normal. 

“Our contractors are working hard to get the job done as quickly as possible, but the clean-up is huge and we are asking motorists to be patient as there will inevitably be some delays with a number of speed restrictions in place. We’re asking people to drive with extra caution and to keep their speeds down in these areas. The temporary speed restrictions are in place to protect the safety of our contractors, but also to ensure the safety of drivers as the roads are still being repaired in many areas.” 

Mr Brown says that while other previously closed sections of SH94 have been cleared and re-opened, the damage sustained in the section between Cascade Creek and the Chasm is very significant, and the focus over the weekend and into next week will be on undertaking a full damage assessment in order to plan and prioritise repair work. 

“Our inspection teams have been on-site for several days and will continue working throughout the weekend to assess the damage. We’ve already confirmed that some significant structural repairs will need to be undertaken, but at this stage it’s too early to say when the highway can be safely re-opened. We’ll be in a position to provide more information on a timeline for re-opening after we’ve completed our assessment of the damage early next week.” 

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