Difficult ground conditions have slowed efforts to repair a significant washout on State Highway 1 in the Far North, but the NZ Transport Agency says it will have the road open before Easter.
A single lane will open to traffic by midday on Thursday and two lanes will be open by the evening, says the Transport Agency’s Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.
The route across the washout area will be gravel, not a sealed road and some delays are likely.
The route to the Far North has been closed since heavy rain washed out the road about 40 kilometres north of Kaitaia last Friday.
Crews are working to backfill the large hole with 5,000 cubic metres of material. A larger, 2.1 diameter pipe has been laid to provide more resilience across the culvert.
“The Transport Agency understands the frustration the closure is causing and our team on site is working as hard as they can to reopen the road and provide a permanent solution to the drainage challenges in the area. It’s too dangerous to do any work overnight but work will resume at first light tomorrow,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.
Convoys through the forest for essential travel only will continue until the road opens on Thursday.
About 50 vehicles made the 40 minute journey in both directions under police supervision this morning.
There will be morning and evening convoys again tomorrow. The morning convoy will leave at 7:30am for southbound traffic from the corner of Far North Road and Trig Road and at 8:15am for northbound vehicles from 113 Hukatere Road at the end of the sealed section, says Ms Hori-Hoult.
Motorists will be travelling at their own risk through the off road route.
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