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NZTA carrying out state highway aftershock safety checks

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The NZ Transport Agency is continuing to safety check bridges and infrastructure on Canterbury State Highways as aftershocks continue to rock the region following Saturday's huge earthquake.

Canterbury State Highways Operations Manager Peter Connors says with dozens of aftershocks in the region since Saturday, further safety assessments are underway on state highway bridges and other infrastructure as a precautionary measure. These are essential as the safety of all road users is paramount.

"So far there is nothing from these assessments that indicate that the shocks, some as high as five on the Richter scale, have caused further damage to the region’s state highways. These safety assessments will continue as long they are required. 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 following this devastating quake."

Mr Connors says State Highway 74 in Christchurch city between Pages Road and Metro Place is closed to allow repairs to be carried out on the road foundation. These could take some time and it is difficult to estimate when the road might re-open, although alternative routes are available.

Chaney’s Road on-ramp on to State Highway 1 north of Christchurch remains closed with repair work scheduled to start tomorrow. The ramp closure does not impact motorway traffic except those who would use the ramp.  State Highway 77 in Mid Canterbury reopened late yesterday 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.

Mr Connors urged all drivers to continue taking extra care on the region’s roads in the days ahead, while the full impact of the quake is assessed. Information on earthquake damage to state highways in Canterbury will be regularly updated on www.highwayinfo.govt.nz or is available by phoning 0800 44 44 49.

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