State Highway 1, south of Kaikoura, will be closed to all traffic for eight days from 8pm on Sunday, 26 March to 7am on Tuesday 4 April to enable emergency slip face stabilisation work to be carried out.
“This work has become more critical following the heavy rain during the last few days which has closed the road for much of this week and part of last week,” says Steve Mutton, NZ Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager.
“New slips along the route mean that we have repeatedly had to close the highway, disrupting travel. This work will make the route more reliable.”
The closure will allow the removal of loose rock and debris from 12 slips between Goose Bay and Peketa, improving safety and helping to reduce closures along this section of the highway, particularly during winter.
“We know the earthquake continues to impact upon the lives of everyone living and working in this area and we apologise in advance for the inconvenience this closure will cause,” says Steve Mutton.
“We are working with residents who live along this section of the highway to provide limited access during this time and we will retain emergency access at all times.”
Kaikoura will continue to be accessible by the inland road via Culverden and Waiau (Route 70), which has remained open during the recent wet weather and coped well with the extra traffic.
“Road works are being carried out along this route to ensure it is in the best possible condition before the start of winter so everyone is asked to take extra care and allow plenty of time for their journey,” says Mr Mutton.
Average journey times from Christchurch to Kaikoura on the inland road (Route 70) are three to three-and-a-half hours.