Hard work by road crews means repairs on State Highway 6 between Hira and the Rai Valley have been completed ahead of schedule.
It means the route, which has been closed for emergency repairs for the last seven weeks, will be open to traffic from six pm tonight. Road users should plan their travel and avoid queuing at the closure points. Traffic queues will only create congestion and delays.
People intending to travel between Blenheim and Nelson can stay up to date on the highway’s status via the Waka Kotahi journey planner.
Drivers, and particularly motorcyclists, need to be aware they may encounter loose chip on newly sealed road surfaces. Extra care is recommended when travelling through these areas. For regular users of the route, it is important they be aware it has undergone major repairs, and the highway will have changed from how they remember it. Watch your speed and drive to the conditions.
More road sweeping and minor tidy-up work will be done on the highway over the next few days to ensure the road is ready for increased holiday traffic.
Some further work is also planned in the repair zone for the New Year to complete minor finishing works, and two reseals. This will see some shoulder closures and isolated short one-way sections controlled by traffic lights or manual stop/go – Waka Kotahi does not expect this work to create significant delays for road users.
Contractors had avoided doing resurfacing work on the alternative route between Nelson and Blenheim (SH63 St Arnaud and SH6 south of Nelson) to minimise disruption for traffic. With State Highway 6 reopening between Hira and the Rai Valley, we will be carrying out repairs where needed on these parts of the highway network before Christmas. Road users can expect some delays with traffic management in place operating under stop/go single lane closures.