Lyttelton Tunnel, SH74, overnight closures end of May to test tunnel’s fire safety


NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is planning three nights of intermittent closures in the Lyttleton Tunnel to test its fire protection system.

The fire protection system, which uses water sprinklers evenly spread along the tunnel, was completed in 2019.

It gets a full check every two years, says Steve Rusbatch, Maintenance Contract Manager for NZTA in North Canterbury.

The testing will run between 11 pm and 5 am Tuesday to Thursday nights/Friday early morning, 28 – 30 May, opening each hour to let traffic through.

  • Traffic volumes are very low at this time of night.
  • The last bus at 11 pm won’t be affected.
  • Traffic will be able to get through on the hour.
  • Emergency vehicles will be allowed through regardless.

Lyttelton Tunnel Fire Protection Upgrade Project [PDF, 1.8 MB]

The last full-tunnel fire protection, zone by zone check two years ago