SH23 Road to Raglan update


The road into Raglan is targeted to reopen at the end of the month. That’s the latest advice from the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency team, who have been working hard to build a temporary diversion road around the major slip site that closed State Highway 23 (SH23).

The slip significantly worsened during the Cyclone Gabrielle storm event that devastated much of the North Island; a section of the highway nearly 30m long has now dropped around 2.5m, and has crossed over the centreline.

Earthworks on the temporary diversion road through private property were halted on the morning of Sunday 12 February due to a serious incident on a nearby worksite.

Waka Kotahi is deeply saddened by the news of the fatality that resulted, and our thoughts are with everyone affected. The safety of the people carrying out work on the roads and the safety of all road users are the top priorities for Waka Kotahi when managing traffic through worksites. The site is under full investigation and the matter is with NZ Police and Worksafe.

After the cyclone had passed, geotechnical engineers were able to return to the site to assess additional damage, before work could safely resume on the temporary diversion road.

Tree removal is complete, and our contractors Fulton Hogan will continue earthworks and road construction over the next week to 10 days, with a planned opening of the temporary diversion road by 1 March. We cannot give a firm opening date at this stage, but assure the community every effort is being made to create access as a matter of urgency.

We are very grateful to the landowners for their generous co-operation, which will enable us to restore this crucial link between Raglan and Hamilton as soon as possible.

The temporary diversion road allows us the time we need to thoroughly investigate the cause of the slump, and plan for the restoration of SH23 and long-term resilience of the route.

SH23 was closed on 1 February, following a serious slip on the section known as the Raglan Deviation.

The official detour route remains Ohautira Road, Waingaro Road, Herschel Street, Ellery Street, Whatawhata Avenue, Ngāruawāhia Road, Horotiu Road to re-join SH23; please be careful and drive to the conditions, as it has tight, winding sections.

For updates and more information:

SH23 Whatawhata to Raglan slip repairs

How it started… 30 January 2023

Where it is now – Photo taken 14 February 2023