Keeping State Highway 65, Shenandoah, ship shape - night closures planned for June


Regular users of State Highway 65 between Springs Junction and State Highway 6, O’Sullivan’s Bridge, south of Murchison need to be planning for night closures later this month.

Tresca Forrester, Acting System Manager, Top of the South, says asphalting work is planned for the Ruffe Creek and Hutchison Bridges and adjacent sections of the highway from 18 to 22 June.

The highway will be closed between 8 pm and 7 am every night.

“Because these are single-lane bridges, there will be no way for vehicles to use them while our contractors carry out the work. Also, allowing traffic on them before they’re resealed could damage them.  It means there will have to be a full road closure in place while the bridge works are done on the 18th and 19th of June.”

Ms Forrester says for the rest of the works – from 20 to 22 June – the highway will still be closed, but there will be a window at midnight to let all queued vehicles through the works site.

“Traffic volumes are lower at night. Generally, there are about 80 vehicles that use this route after dark. So, a night closure is the best way to minimise disruption for road users. It is important that regular users of the road, particularly freight companies, are aware of what is happening. While a detour via State Highway 7 and Reefton is available, it is a much longer route. Plan ahead to avoid the closure times if you can.”

“We appreciate full closures like this are inconvenient for drivers. However, this is essential maintenance work for a vital state highway link. Carrying out this work now prevents costlier and longer repairs in the future,” Ms Forrester says.

Works schedule and details

  • Access through the closure points will be available for residents
  • In case of weather or other disruptions, the bridge asphalting work (and associated closure) will be postponed to the next suitable night.   


Works description

Sunday, 18 June 8 pm - 7am

  • Asphalting, Hutchison Bridge
  • Full road closure – Detour via SH7 Reefton

Monday, 19 June 8 pm – 7 am

  • Asphalting, Ruffe Creek Bridge
  • Full road closure – Detour via SH7 Reefton

Tuesday 20 June - Thursday 22 June 8 pm – 7 am

  • Pavement repairs and maintenance work
  • Full road closure – Detour via SH7 Reefton
  • Midnight window to allow all queued traffic to travel through the site.
  • Drivers will need to be at the SH65, Boundary Road and SH65, Maruia West Bank road closure points by 12 am (midnight) to travel through the works area

Works location and detour route

  • A detour will be in place via State Highway 6 at the Upper Buller Gorge, State Highway 69, Inangahua - Reefton and State Highway 7, over the Rahu Saddle. 
  • The detour is expected to add 40-–50 minutes to travel times.

Waka Kotahi map showing detour of state highway 65.

SH65 June night closures for bridge repair works map [PDF, 914 KB]