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Night-time maintenance closures coming for SH1, Weld Pass, Marlborough and four nights work on the Hundalees


Residents and users of SH1 in Marlborough need to be prepared for a series of night closures at Weld Pass, south of Blenheim, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Two weeks of night works are planned between Sunday, 22 January and Friday, 3 February.

The highway will be closed between 8 pm and 6 am while contractors carry out essential maintenance and improvements to the road, says Andrew James, System Manager Top of the South for Waka Kotahi.

“There will be one scheduled opening each night at midnight, to allow queued traffic through the works site.”

Contractors will be carrying out essential structural asphalt work to strengthen the road surface.

Waka Kotahi has worked closely with the freight industry in planning this programme of essential work.

“This work will involve milling, or removing, the old road surface and adding new, deeper layers. It is about making sure the highway is properly maintained and kept safe for the thousands of vehicles that use it every week, and is similar to the approach we took last summer season.”

Map showing location of closures along SH1

Why a full road closure?

Because the road through Weld Pass is very narrow, Mr James says a full closure for night works is necessary. “It would be impossible to do this work during the day under stop/go traffic management without causing extensive traffic delays and extending the disruption into Waitangi weekend and conflicting with a scheduled closure on the diversion route, SH7 Lewis Pass,” he says.

“When we have our machinery at work, there is not enough road space to let traffic through. For the safety and efficiency of our contractors and road users, the highway has to be closed overnight, with the one opening time. We have taken care to time the works to cause the least disruption to traffic and residents and have opted for eight-hour night closures to get as much pavement work done as possible.”

Access will be available for emergency services at all times.

“We realise this work will cause disruptions and delays for road users and residents. However, SH1 is a vital transport link, and the asphalting improvements must be made. I want to thank residents, visitors, and regular users of the route for their tolerance and understanding while this work is completed,” says Mr James.

Road workers working at night, laying new asphalt

Asphalt milling, SH1 Weld Pass 2021-22

22-25 January work planned on the Hundalees to the south

While the work on Weld Pass is underway, four nights of work (22-25 January) is also planned on SH1 to the south on the Hundalees hills, making the most of the Weld Pass road closure. SH1 will be fully closed 10 pm to 5 am on the Hundalees these four nights.

Advice for people using SH1 between Picton and Christchurch 22 January to 3 February

Mr James says people heading north towards Picton to catch an overnight ferry need to be through the Weld Pass at the midnight opening time while this work is underway over the two-week period – 22 January to 3 February.

  • Additionally, they will also need to be through the Hundalees south of Kaikōura before 10 pm for the four nights of that work: 22 – 25 January, 10 pm to 5 am. Waka Kotahi will notify any changes to this schedule.

People driving south from Picton, going towards Christchurch overnight need to factor in the midnight opening on the Weld Pass for the two weeks of work.

Weld Pass works schedule:

  • 22 January to 3 February – night closures from 8 pm Sunday, 22 January to 6 am Friday, 3 February, with the Saturday night in the middle (28 January) an open night with no closure.
  • Closure times – 8 pm to 6 am
  • Nightly opening for queued traffic at midnight.
  • SH1, Weld Pass, will be open over the Waitangi Day holiday weekend (4-6 February).
  • The midnight opening is for queued traffic only. Vehicles must be at the closure point by midnight to go through. Traffic will be released one end at a time as there will only be one lane available for moving traffic. Once queued traffic is released, the road will be closed again till 6am.

Advice to road users

  • There are no local road detours. People travelling between Christchurch and Blenheim will have to use the inland route via SH7, Lewis Pass. This adds around 90 minutes to travel times.
  • Be aware the summer maintenance programme is underway on South Island highways. This means there will be resealing work underway across the network. Allow more travel time for roadworks delays.
  • Plan your travel and avoid closure times, particularly if you are using the Cook Strait ferries. 
  • Check the Journey Planner traffic map beforehand for any changes(external link) 

This work is weather dependent so if it is wet, dates may be pushed out. Waka Kotahi will notify any changes to this schedule.