Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists that State Highway 35 (SH35) will be open from Gisborne through to Ōpōtiki during daylight hours (7am – 7pm) from tomorrow Saturday 14 January.
National Journey Manager, Helen Harris, says the local Waka Kotahi team is delighted to restore access to communities which have been phenomenally supportive and patient during yet another major disruption.
“We want to thank everyone for their acceptance of the situation and their preparedness going into it.
“The damage to our highway is not fully understood but our roading crews have been working hard to ensure that access, albeit restricted, is available.”
Motorists should plan for a longer-than-usual journey, with multiple temporary speed and single lane restrictions in place.
“There’s still a lot of rain in the forecast ahead which is likely to cause further instability so please drive with extreme caution,” says Ms Harris.
Roading crews will be monitoring the highway closely and will reinstate road closures if any risk to safety is detected and these could happen at short notice.
“A big thank you to the clean-up crew on Gladstone Road Bridge last night,” says Ms Harris.
“The bridge will be closed again tonight from 7pm to 6am to allow workers to finish the job.”
Ms Harris says the damage from ex Cyclone Hale has added significantly to the already huge workload for SH35.
“There’s no easy fix here, but our team has been working hard to improve the highway’s resilience so it can bounce back after adversity and will continue to keep making these improvements.”
Motorists should continue to check Waka Kotahi’s Journey Planner before they travel and call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS to report any damage or safety issues on the highway.
Note: The convoy between Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay planned for tomorrow will not be required as SH35 is fully open to all vehicles from 7am.