Traffic resumed on the Haast highway, SH6 through Makarora in Otago today with two escorted convoys at midday and 4.30 pm – 80 towards Wanaka and 68 towards Haast for the midday journey.
From Wednesday, vehicles weighing more than five tonnes (eg buses) can join the convoys also, says Robert Choveaux, System Manager for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency in Southland and Otago.
“We are pleased that testing of the bridge this afternoon has given us confidence to allow heavier, permitted vehicles back on the Muddy Creek bridge as of tomorrow at the allocated convoy times.”
The convoy times for the rest of the week are 8 am, midday and 4.30 pm each day – with the Lake Hawea/Makarora convoy departing first and once through, the western side Blue Pools group will move.
Mr Choveaux thanked the crew for the dedication and work to date to clear a full lane of the road over the Muddy Creek bridge and its approaches of around 20,000 cubic metres of material from the end of last week’s storm.
Muddy Creek convoy underway at midday today with work underway in the creek and temporary earth bund on the bridge where there is no barrier:
Waka Kotahi is very aware of the whitebait festival in Haast on Saturday. These convoys mean that people will be able to get into Haast from Otago and back out again, weather and conditions permitting.
Crews will continue work around the convoy times to clear material and stabilise the road getting it ready for two lanes and safe, unescorted access.