The NZ Transport Agency is advising drivers to take extra care as South Island highways damaged by yesterday’s severe weather are progressively re-opened.
“The safety of road users is our top priority. Our crews are working hard to clear debris and re-open roads, but we’re asking everyone to take care with difficult conditions still affecting many areas,” says Pete Connors, NZTA Transport Systems Manager.
“The extent of damage on many sites is significant, requiring geotechnical and coastal engineering assessments to help decide the most effective means for carrying out immediate and long term repair work. We will re-open roads as soon as it is safe to allow traffic through, but we’re asking people to be patient while we get on with the job.”
The current status of storm-damaged highways is as follows:
SH6, Inangahua Junction to Westport – Road Open, with some single lane sections.
SH6, Westport to Rapahoe – Road Open, single lane sections and traffic signals. Due to the damage and monitoring required during high tides, the road will only be open in daylight hours (07:00am to 09:00pm) while we are experiencing King Tides. A further assessment on the necessity of night closures will be made after Waitangi Day. The road will be closed overnight, from 9pm to 7am.
SH6, Ross to Franz Josef – Clean-up is underway in this section now that power to the downed lines has been disconnected, allowing contractors to safely access the site. Contractors are working to open the road later today.
SH6 Franz Josef to Makarora – There is significant debris in the section from Franz Josef to Fox Glacier as well as a slip at Omoeroa. Bruce Bay experienced substantial damage, and contractors have worked to form an unsealed track through debris left on the road surface. There are several slips in the Haast Valley which are currently being cleared with contractors working towards opening a single lane through the Valley on the weekend, which will provide access from Franz Josef to Makarora.
Please keep up-to-date with the weather forecast before you travel, on the Metservice website (external link) and plan ahead to avoid delays by checking the NZ Transport Agency Journey website journeys.nzta.govt.nz (external link) or calling 0800 44 44 49 for 24/7 road condition information on closures or delays.