Another link in the quake damaged Canterbury State Highway network is operating again.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) says the State Highway 1 - Chaney’s on-ramp has just reopened following the completion of repairs to the road surface cause by the earthquake that struck the region 10 days ago.
NZTA Canterbury State Highways Operations Manager Peter Connors says this surface is unsealed so a 50km/h speed restriction will apply. Sealing work should be completed by the end of the week.
Mr Connors said State Highway 74 is now open from Travis/Frost/Anzac Drive to the intersection of Dyers Road and Bridge Street, but the section from the intersection of Bridge Street to Metro Place is closed until further notice. This is so damaged pipes across the highway essential to the operation of a waste water treatment plant can be repaired. A detour is available for all vehicles via Breezes, Cuthbert's and Maces Roads.
The SH74 Heathcote underpass could be closed for up to week so permanent repairs can be made to potential rock fall hazards above the road.
Mr Connors says periodic closure of the Lyttelton Tunnel to allow fuel trucks through the tunnel has gone smoothly. Motorists can expect delays of up to ten minutes during these closures. The NZTA appreciates the patience shown by road users since this arrangement started last Friday.
Normally dangerous good vehicles cannot use the tunnel, but were granted a temporary exemption when earthquake damage forced the closure of their usual route over Evans Pass Road to the Port of Lyttelton.
Mr Connors said fuel and gas trucks are going through the tunnel under the supervision of Tunnel Control - one truck at a time with no other vehicles allowed in the tunnel. To minimise disruptions for motorists there will be no closures during the peak traffic times of 7am-9am, 12pm-1pm and 4pm-6pm. Lighter vehicles carrying dangerous goods must go via Dyers Pass between the city and the port and will not be given access to the tunnel.
Other state highways in the region currently affected by earthquake damage include:
State Highway 77 in mid-Canterbury is open with a two kilometre sign posted detour from Glentunnel to Glenroy. A slip is still moving at this site so the detour will remain for some time. Permanent repairs expected to start in the next week or so.
Up to date information on Canterbury state highways can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz or by phoning 0800 44 44 49.
For further information on the situation on the ground in Christchurch visit the council’s earthquake information page at http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/(external link) or http://www.metroinfo.co.nz/(external link).