The NZ Transport Agency is continuing to repair and re-open damaged state highways in the Canterbury region.
The last remaining Canterbury highway closed by last Saturday’s earthquake is on track to open by Friday evening (September 10). State Highway 74, a key route into the Port of Lyttelton has been closed for six days while road foundations damaged by the quake have been repaired.
Because SH74 is a key freight corridor into the Port of Lyttelton the NZTA is aware of the importance of opening it as soon as possible. The repair work has gone well and the highway is expected to re-open by Friday night, although the section of highway between Bridge Street and Metro Place will remain closed to allow the Christchurch City Council to replace a quake damaged water pipe under the highway that services the city’s sewage treatment plant. It is not known how long this work will take to complete. The detour route for this section of highway will be via Breezes, Cuthberts and Maces roads.
The Chaney’s Road on-ramp on to State Highway 1 north of Christchurch is still on track to re-open by Saturday night. State Highway 77 in Mid Canterbury is open with a two kilometre signposted detour from Glentunnel to Glenroy, where there is substantial subsidence in the road. This detour will remain in place for some time with permanent repairs to commence next week.
A safe and usable state highway network is crucial to Canterbury to ensure the safe movement of the goods, services and people that is needed to help re-build the region. Safety assessments of bridges and other infrastructure on the region's state highways are continuing as a precautionary measure as the region continues to be affected by aftershocks following Saturday's earthquake. These are essential as the safety of all road users is the NZTA's top priority.
All drivers are urged to take extra care on the region’s roads while repairs are carried out and the full impact of the quake is assessed. Up to date information Canterbury state highways including the Lyttelton Tunnel can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) 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).