From tonight (16 January), motorists will again be able to travel State Highway 35 (SH35) north of Gisborne, day and night.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency System Manager for Gisborne, Martin Colditz says the full reopening has been made possible thanks to the tremendous efforts from dedicated contractors and the local Waka Kotahi team.
“As soon as possible last week, our roading crews started working to ensure access was quickly restored.
“We’ve never seen so much silt covering this road before — it has been all hands on deck to clean up the highway and the road signage, which was also covered in mud,” says Mr Colditz.
“Temporary speed restrictions are still in place so people should allow extra time for their journey and drive with caution.
“Roading crews remain busy working up and down the highway, so please follow the speed restrictions to help keep everyone safe,” says Mr Colditz.
“I want to again thank all road users for their patience and understanding over the past week. The adverse weather was out of our control but people’s cooperation made the clean up all the more possible.
“The highway is being regularly patrolled as further damage is expected, especially with further rain forecast this week.
“It’s important to note that we may have to reinstate restrictions down the track, if the ground moves and more damage is caused, so please keep a close eye on the conditions and the highway,” says Mr Colditz.
Motorists should continue to check Waka Kotahi’s Journey Planner(external link) before they travel and call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS to report any damage or safety issues on the highway.