SH5 from Napier to Taupō will re-open to traffic around the clock from tonight.
This crucial link in the state highway network was opened last week to daylight traffic (between 7am and 7pm).
Contractors continued last week to work on 32 cyclone damaged sites along SH5.
Waka Kotahi’s Central North Island Regional Manager of Maintenance and Operations, Jaclyn Hankin says contractors have now got the road to the point where it can safely be opened at night.
The decision to open 24/7 was made earlier today, following a night time drive by Waka Kotahi last night.
“While the daytime opening has alleviated a lot of pressure, we know how important it is, especially for the freight community, to be able to drive the road at night.
“Our contractors have done an amazing job, to firstly get a bypass built around the slip between Te Pohue and Glengarry, and to continue strengthening other sites.
“While the road is safe to drive, there are still several damaged sites along the route, so motorists should prepare for lower speeds in a number of places which will lead to delays.
“It has been a tremendous effort to get this road ready for around the clock access, less than a month and a half after such a damaging cyclone, and Waka Kotahi would like to thank everyone who’s worked on the road.
“We’re also incredibly grateful for the patience and resilience of the communities alongside SH5 – we know this has been a disruptive time and we hope re-opening the road 24/7 will further strengthen the connection to essential services and supplies,schools, work and friends and whanau,” says Ms Hankin.
Waka Kotahi is also reminding road users of a planned one hour closure near Te Haroto on SH5 tomorrow, from 11am to midday, to allow 4,500 sheep to be moved along the road to Tarawera Station. This closure will be managed under temporary traffic management and stop/go control.