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Night closures for five nights from Sunday on the Whangamoas, SH6, north-east of Nelson

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will be closing SH6 over the Whangamoas for five nights from this Sunday.

The Whangamoas are between Rai Valley Saddle and Hira, north-east of Nelson. 

The highway closures are needed for annual maintenance and to resurface parts of the highway ahead of winter, says Waka Kotahi System Manager Top of the South Andrew James.  “By doing this work at night, we affect the smallest number of road users, but we acknowledge that our freight customers and others will need to plan carefully to make use of the single opening around midnight or 11.30 pm.” 

As well as the road resurfacing, water channels will be cleared and guardrails maintained for everyone’s safety heading into winter, says Mr James. 

He noted that the safety of road crews is uppermost in everyone’s minds and given the relatively narrow highway over the Whangamoas, a full closure with a single opening is the best way to ensure they all get to work and home again safely each day.  

Drivers who want to travel on this route overnight will need to be at the Hira closure point closest to Nelson by midnight or the Rai Valley closure point by 11.30 pm to make use of the single opening, says Mr James. 

  • Outside of that opening, the highway will be closed from 9 pm to 5.30 am on Sunday night, 21 February, then Monday through to Thursday night/ Friday morning (25/26 February) 7pm to 5.30 am. 
  • Emergency vehicles will be accommodated as quickly as possible throughout. 
  • The alternate route aside from SH6 to Nelson via Rai Valley is via St Arnaud (SH63), which is a much longer journey between Blenheim/Renwick and Nelson, adding more than two hours to the overall journey. (See map below). 

Mr James thanked all regular highway users for their patience while this work is completed and noted if it is wet, work could shift out a night. 

Information has been placed on the permanent message boards at Hira and Rai Valley, from last weekend, as well as the electronic board at Renwick near Blenheim. If the roadworks have to be extended due to wet weather, these message boards will be updated accordingly. 

The detour route via St Arnaud and SH63 

Location of the main work on the Whangamoas, a winding and hilly section of highway on SH6

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