The NZ Transport Agency will close the inland route into Kaikoura overnight tonight from 8 pm after heavy rain today. Geotechnical advisors will check the route before a planned reopening at 7 am tomorrow, Thursday, 5 January.
The route has been open 24/7 since 19 December after weeks of twice daily convoys after the 14 November earthquakes and subsequent road and bridge reconstruction by Transport Agency crews.
Crews have been monitoring the Whalesback and Lulu slip areas on Route 70 today as the southerly storm swept through, says Lee Wright, Transport Agency Journey Manager.
”We advise everyone heading into Kaikoura or leaving the town to check our web map(external link) before they set off,” she says. “Thanks to all road users for their patience and taking care around our hard-working crews. We want these two important routes to be safe for everyone.”
State Highway 1, south of the town, was closed earlier today after strong winds and a southerly squall triggered rockfall at two areas closer to Peketa. This route is likely to reopen at 9 am tomorrow unless the Transport Agency notifies otherwise.
Since 21 December, the state highway south of Kaikoura, through the Hundalees, has been largely open daytime hours, 6 am to 8 pm.
Other places to get updates on state highways in the South Island:
See the NZ Transport Agency's travel and traffic page here.(external link)
Call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS 0800 44 44 49