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Rockfall canopy south of Kaikōura traffic – night-time closures extending to late February


Night-time work to install a permanent rockfall protection canopy on SH1 between Peketā and the Parititahi Tunnels south of Kaikōura has been extended to late February 2021 (weather dependent).

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Manager at NCTIR (North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance) Colin Knaggs says the rockfall protection work is critical to keep road users safe.

“Safety work has been underway on this rockfall prone corner since July 2020, but there’s still a fair way to go. This is a busy road for locals, freight and visitors – especially over summer - and we need to make sure that where possible work is done at night to keep any disruption to a minimum.”

While NCTIR works wrap up in Kaikōura at the end of December, the canopy project will continue into early 2021. Works have been extended following unexpected delays in the supply of some construction materials due to port strikes in Australia and COVID-19. There was also increased requirements for milling and rock removal from unforeseen fractured rock conditions, as well as some design changes in order to suit the physical conditions discovered on site.

The rockfall protection canopy will be the first of its kind to be installed in the Southern Hemisphere. It is expected to be completed by the end of February 2021(weather dependent).

Daytime work on the rockfall protection will finish for the year on Saturday 19 December and traffic will be two-way for the Christmas/New Year break, from Sunday 20 December 2020 to Tuesday 5 January 2021. A speed restriction will be in place.

Night closures will recommence Tuesday 5 January with the closure timetable remaining the same.  Waka Kotahi thanks all drivers affected by these night closures for their patience over coming nights and the New Year.

Rockfall protection night closures overview December 2020 – February 2021

Night closures are taking place five nights a week (Sunday to Thursday) until Thursday 17 December 2020 (last one for the year). They will resume on Tuesday 5 January 2021 until the work is complete in late February 2021. Traffic will be cleared through at certain times.

Time Road status
7:00pm–8:30pm Road will be closed for 30-minute intervals from 7:00pm–8.30pm. Following a 30-minute closure the road will re-open to allow queued traffic through, and then close again for 30 minutes. This cycle is repeated until 8.30pm. (Average wait time 20–25 minutes).
8:30pm–9:00pm ROAD OPEN for 30 minutes.
9:00pm–11:30pm ROAD CLOSED.
11:30pm ROAD OPEN to clear queued traffic only. Traffic MUST be in the queue by 11:30pm to be let through.
11:30pm–3:00am ROAD CLOSED.
3:00am–4:00am ROAD OPEN for one hour.
4:00am–6:30am ROAD CLOSED.
6:30am-7:00pm ROAD OPEN (6am on Mondays).

Additional information

  • There will be no night closure on Tuesday 15 December 2020.
  • Closure times in 2021 may vary on public holidays (i.e. Waitangi weekend) to account for higher traffic volumes but that will be publicised at the time. 

After the rockfall protection canopy is completed, a separate roading repair project in the area will follow. Dates and details to be confirmed at the time.

Information on the closure timetable can be found here: along with a link to real-time travel information.

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