The NZ Transport Agency advises motorists that State Highway 1 is closed north of Manakau in Horowhenua due to floodwaters undermining the banks of Waikawa Stream Bridge.
The highway is likely to remain closed until tomorrow at the earliest as crews work to restore the bridge. It was closed at around 11am last night. Crews are onsite, and expect to be in a position to make a more thorough assessment of the bridge's status during daylight hours.
Motorists travelling from Manawatu towards Kapiti/Wellington, or vice versa, will need to use SH2 and SH3 as a diversion. This is a significantly longer route and motorists will need to allow extra time for their journeys.
"We recognise that the diversion is a major inconvenience for travellers and the freight industry, and our contractors are working hard to get it safely reopened," says Regional Performance Manager Mark Owen.
"There's been a huge amount of rain, and it has caused the river to rise and wash away parts of the bank that the bridge relies on for support.
"Safety is our first priority, and we need to make sure the bridge is safe and secure before it reopens to traffic."
Also in the lower North Island:
Wet conditions and surface flooding are widespread throughout the network and motorists are urged to take great care when travelling.
“Slippery roads are much more dangerous, as they can turn minor errors into major problems," says Mr Owen.
“Heavy rain and wind can also result in debris on the road, so keep your eyes peeled for any obstructions.”
He says contractors are monitoring the road network and will be acting quickly to address any hazards to motorists.
For up to the minute information about highway conditions, please visit http://beta.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link) or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS
For personalised information about driving conditions on their frequently used routes, motorists can check out and sign up to On The Move at www.onthemove.govt.nz.(external link)