Kaikōura rockfall protection canopy work delays for next month, SH1, short detour SH7 Waipara to Waikari for two nights


People travelling between Christchurch and Picton on SH1 over the next four weeks need to factor in daytime delays south of Kaikōura where a rockfall canopy is being completed.

Night closures Sunday to Thursday with regular openings have been ongoing for several weeks now and these will also continue.

Given the short number of weeks before winter sets in, this work is urgent and cannot be paused for the school holidays, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager Tresca Forrester.

“Helicopter and abseiling teams are working long hours to position the steel rock catch mesh ahead of winter, the last project of the North Canterbury Infrastructure Recovery team’s work following the November, 2016 earthquake.” The aim is to have the canopy completed by mid-May.

From Monday 19 April until Friday 14 May, between 9am and 5pm, there will be daytime closures of up to 30 minutes, Monday to Friday only. Traffic will be cleared in both directions after each closure.

Given people may be catching the Interisland Ferries, it is important to build in the full extra time, advises Ms Forrester. “We thank everyone for building in time and appreciate the extra pressures in the school holidays.”

The average wait is likely to be less than 30 minutes, she notes.

Anzac timetable south of Kaikōura

There will be no closures from midday Friday 23 April to 8 pm, Monday 26 April. On Monday 26 April from 8pm to 11:30pm, there will be closures of 30 minutes maximum, with traffic being cleared in both directions after each closure. The usual road closure timetable will resume from 11:30 pm that night.

SH1 south of Kaikōura night closures timetable – Sunday to Thursday nights

8:00pm–8:30pm  Road closed for 30 minutes
8:30pm–9:00pm Road open for 30 minutes
9:00pm–11:30pm  Road closed
11:30pm    Road open to clear queued traffic only. Drivers must be in the queue by 11:30pm to be let through
11:30pm–3:00am Road closed
3:00am–4:00am Road open for one hour.
4:00am–6:30am Road closed
6:30am-8:00pm Road open (6am on Mondays). 

Plan your journey (P2C)(external link) 

TVNZ clips/Facebook post on the rockfall canopy, first for the Southern Hemisphere

North Canterbury’s SH7, between Weka Pass and Waikari – detours two nights

The Lewis Pass route between the West Coast/Nelson and Canterbury, SH7, will be closed next week in North Canterbury over two nights.

On Wednesday and Thursday night, 21 and 22 April, 8 pm to 6 am, urgent repairs will be carried out at Archer’s Bridge. The bridge is between the Weka Pass and Waikari.

There will be work happening daytime hours Thursday and Friday also, 6 am to 6 pm, 22 and 23 April, with temporary speed limits and Stop/Go traffic management. Delays will be kept to a minimum and there will be no work over the long Anzac weekend, including Monday.

  • Drivers will be allowed over the SH7 bridge every two hours – at 10 pm, midnight, 2 am, 4 am.
  • Alternately, there will be a detour in place via Scargill Valley Road which will add 40 minutes to the journey. (See map below in both directions).
  • Journey Planner for updates(external link)

Detour route

For westbound traffic, continue north on SH1 at Waipara from the SH7 intersection, turn left onto Scargill Valley Road, continue onto Waikari Valley Road, then turn right onto SH7. Reverse for eastbound traffic. Drivers are asked to take care on the detour route which is a mix of state highway and local road.

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