SH1 Desert Road re-opens, Milford road closes


While road crews have now re-opened the Desert Road section of State Highway 1 from Waiouru to Rangipo in the North Island, more snow and high winds are keeping driving conditions treacherous in parts of the South Island, with SH94 from Milford Sound to Lake Gunn closed at 2pm this afternoon.

NZTA’s Area Manager for Coastal Otago Roger Bailey said the road was likely to remain closed overnight with up to 25cm of fresh snow expected.

Mr Bailey said contractors were working hard to re-open SH85 from Palmerston to Kyeburn, but ice as thick as 70mm had formed on some sections of the highway, posing challenges for work crews.

Mr Bailey said blowing snow and cold temperatures were also continuing to cause hazardous, icy conditions on SH87 from Outram to Middlemarch, and he advised motorists to avoid all but essential travel.

“Crews are working hard in some very trying conditions. We know that these closures are frustrating, but the safety of motorists is our top priority and we’re asking people to be patient and take extra care while we work through this tough weather.”