Lyttelton Tunnel users: prepare for three nights of extended closures from end of August


The NZ Transport Agency is flagging early three consecutive late night Lyttelton Tunnel closures - from Sunday, 26 August to Tuesday, 28 August inclusive, 11pm to 4am. The closures are needed to install a new $29 million fire protection system in the tunnel.

Lyttelton wastewater pipe installation

The working platform and drill rig designed especially for the installation of 9km of new pipe, held in place by 1326 brackets.

The tunnel will open to traffic for 10 minutes on the hour, 11pm to 4am for all three closures. Outside those times, only emergency vehicles will be allowed access.

“Work on the project is in full swing and expected to finish early next year,” says Senior Project Manager Chris Collins. “Once operating, the fire protection system will improve safety for tunnel travellers on a route that’s an economic life line for both Christchurch and wider Canterbury region.”

The three nights of closures are the first in a series of night closures in coming months to enable the fire protection system to be safely installed and tested.

Commuters can also travel to Christchurch via Cashmere and Dyers Pass Road, a longer route than the tunnel. Heavy vehicle drivers can take Gebbies Pass route as an alternative. 

“Installing the new fire protection system is complex and demanding, with workers often required to work in confined spaces,” says Mr Collins. “Single and full tunnel traffic lane closures are critical to the successful completion of this project. To minimise their impact, work is carried out late at night and in the early hours of the morning when tunnel traffic is at its lightest.” 

A 90-day schedule for single and full-lane closures is updated monthly and can be viewed at

Running in parallel with work on the fire protection system is the installation of wastewater pipes through to Lyttelton, part of a Christchurch City Council project to future-proof wastewater services in Lyttelton and the surrounding areas. Find out more about this project at link)