After numerous cracks were identified and investigated in the road structure on Monday 16 January, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency made the decision to close State Highway 25A (SH25A) due to the potential risk of the cracks worsening overnight.
Further geotechnical investigation will take place today to inform the decision on whether the road will remain closed for now or can safely reopen. While this is unfortunate, safety of road users is the highest priority, says Rob Campbell, Regional Manager for Maintenance and Operations at Waka Kotahi NZ.
“The cracks have appeared following Cyclone Hale, which caused flooding and numerous slips across the Coromandel Peninsula. As there are numerous cracks we need to understand what is happening before we allow road users through this area.
“We can look back to August last year when cracks appeared on State Highway 35 near the Motu River in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. That situation moved rapidly, and we lost a lane to the river within days of the cracks first appearing. While that may not happen here, we cannot take any chances.”
With SH25A closed, road users will need to use State Highway 2 through the Karangahake Gorge or State Highway 25 around the Coromandel Peninsula to travel to/from summer hotspots such as Whitianga and Whangamatā.
While it is too early to say whether the road will remain closed over the upcoming long weekends, Mr Campbell encourages road users to plan ahead for any journey.
“The alternative routes will add at least half an hour to travel times. With temperatures rising and sunny days on the horizon, fatigue can set in earlier than usual. Use the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner to understand the best route for your journey, plan your rest stops, and enjoy the journey.
Further updates will be provided when more information is available.