The NZ Transport Agency says it’s making good progress on fixing the washout on State Highway 1 north of Kaitaia and is on course to reopen the road by the middle of the week.
Work resumed on the site at 7am this morning and two of the ten 2.1 metre diameter pipes have already been placed into position. Material is being trucked in and stockpiled close to the site so that the hole can be backfilled to road level as soon as possible.
The washout, south of Pukenui between Whalers Road and Lamb Road, created a hole in the road about 20 metres wide and 4-5 metres deep.
A crew had inspected the culvert under the road an hour before the washout and there was no sign it was blocked or that there were any issues at that time.
Since Friday the weather has improved and the water level in the stream has dropped.
“There is a significant workforce and heavy lifting equipment on site and we are working to have one lane open to traffic as soon as possible but that is unlikely to be before the middle of next week”, says the Transport Agency’s Northland System Manager, Jacqui Hori-Hoult.
While SH1 is closed there is no appropriate alternative route between Kaitaia and Cape Reinga. Motorists should avoid the area and delay their journeys.
The Transport Agency says some locals have used a private track through the forest to get around the washout. But the Transport Agency, Police, Civil Defence and local authorities reiterate this route is a private unsealed one lane track that will have deteriorated with recent rainfall and use over the weekend.
The forestry company Summit Forestry now says it will not allow vehicles other than emergency services to use the track. Its operations resume in the forest from 4am Monday.
Police will be actively monitoring access to the forest route.
Driving on 90 Mile Beach is also not advised where the sand and tide present safety hazards to people not familiar with driving in these conditions.
The Transport Agency is working closely with Civil Defence, emergency services and local authorities on a response to support those in the area who may be affected by the road closure. Civil Defence says there have been no requests for assistance north of the slip and police are on standby to deal with emergencies.
The Transport Agency says the washout repair has not taken resources from the Lemons Hill slip repair work on SH11 between Paihia and Kawakawa. That work is continuing.
For latest road and travel information, go to:
For Auckland and Northland