Kaikōura Hop gets underway this week, Hāpuku bridge repairs from next week


People travelling between Picton and Christchurch via SH1 will strike more traffic from Wednesday through this weekend as people travel to Kaikōura for the annual Hop car enthusiasts’ event.

Then from next week, repairs at Hāpuku to the bridge will cause up to two hour delays from the very small hours each Tuesday (midnight to 2 am Tuesday), through to mid-December. Work is continuing under the bridge throughout and between weekly bridge lifts. 

Travelling to the Kaikōura Hop: build in extra time

People should be ready for extra traffic on State Highway 1 over the Kaikōura Hop(external link) long weekend, starting this Wednesday night 18 September, running through to 22 September. 

Traffic will be down to one lane at some sites where the highway rebuild and repair is underway with stop/go or traffic lights in place. The travel time between Christchurch and Picton is still expected to be 5.5 hours but allow plenty of time in case of delays. 

Between Clarence and Kaikōura there will be two of these short stops and between Oaro and Kaikōura there will be three. 

Hāpuku Bridge, SH1, upcoming night closures

Structural repairs will soon be carried out to strengthen Hāpuku Bridge, just north of Kaikōura on State Highway 1.

 The work is being done at night when traffic volumes are low to minimise any disruption, and it is not weather dependent. 

Overnight bridge lift work will start in the early hours of Tuesday, 24 September, after midnight through to 2 am, for 13 weeks each Tuesday (with the last closure on 17 December). At these times, the road will be fully closed to all traffic bar emergency vehicles for up to two hours. 

“We need to make structural repairs to the bridge piles and to do this safely the bridge must be closed for short periods of time while we lift and lower the bridge decks,” says Colin Knaggs, NZ Transport Agency Owner Interface Manager. “The repair works will require jacking up the bridge decks by 10mm so we can work on the bearings underneath.” 

To reduce the impact of traffic loading on the bridge, it is currently one-way with a speed limit of 30km/h. These controls will remain in place until the completion of the bridge repairs. 

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

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