After eight days of work by more than 100 people, State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura between Peketa and Goose Bay reopens Tuesday at 7 am. The road will close again Tuesday night at 6 pm, however people with urgent travel needs will be escorted through until 8 pm Tuesday only.
The normal winter opening hours will be 7 am to 6 pm. Outside these times, drivers need to use the inland road through Waiau.
“More than 100 people have been on site each day throughout the closure, making 17 of the most at risk slips in the south safer,” says NZ Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager Steve Mutton.
“Excavators, loaders and six wheel trucks have been used along with traffic management teams. Tunnel crews have also taken advantage of the road closure to carry out important works in and out of the tunnels.
“Around 40 abseilers have been bringing down rocks and loose material. If you were in Kaikoura during the past week, you may have heard an explosion when two boulders, the size of large utes, were removed in a controlled blast. During the controlled closure, a large boulder also came down crumpling a container, highlighting why we needed to have the road closed to traffic.
“With approximately 5000 tonnes of material and boulders removed, some high risk sites are now much safer, although this does not rule out future closures as we know some areas will still be prone to slips.”
The Transport Agency thanks everyone in particular local residents for their support and patience during this eight-day closure.
Background information on access to Kaikoura and the Picton to Christchurch Alternate Route here. (external link)