Two sections of State Highway closed due to high winds and rainfall earlier this week have now reopened.
State Highway 5 between Taupo and Rotorua was temporarily closed on Tuesday (March 20) with a small detour put in place overnight while contractors waited for the high winds to ease so they could clear the road of debris. The highway was reopened early Wednesday morning.
Original plans to reopen a short section of SH30 near Ongoroto Road north of Taupo were delayed overnight on Tuesday, after contractors discovered a number of partially-damaged trees, still standing but unstable, next to the road. Kaye Clark, NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) State Highway Manager (Waikato), says the delay gave forestry company staff time to clear the trees and a small detour was put in place while this was done. That section of highway was reopened early yesterday afternoon (March 21).
"We seem to be experiencing a wide variety of weather events at the moment," says Mrs Clark. "With more rain predicted off and on over the next few days, I'd like to re-emphasise the importance of all drivers taking extreme care in the region. Drive to the conditions; take note of road signage, traffic controls, road crews and any detours. Make sure you allow more time for your journeys so you reach your destination safely."
Road users can plan their travel before leaving home by calling NZTA's freephone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or going online to the 'Road and Travel' section of the NZTA's website at www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/index.html(external link).