Huge efforts by road crews mean State Highway 63 will reopen to traffic by midday Saturday (10 September).
Last month’s flooding caused extensive damage to the state highway, including a washout of the Branch River Bridge.
Andrew James, System Manager Top of the South, says since then, contractors have been working hard to fix the highway and making it safe to use.
“This has included creating a river diversion, rebuilding the approach to the Branch River bridge, as well as further road repairs – particularly around the Wash.”
Mr James warns drivers will still need to take care using the highway.
“While the road is open to all traffic, there is a temporary 50km/h speed restriction at the Branch River site. It’s essential road users drive to the conditions and slow down where road works are still in progress.”
The reopening of State Highway 63 means there is now an alternative route to State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson and the West Coast. Mr James says this will be crucial when further repairs are done to State Highway 6.
“We are still working through our planning and designs, but there are parts of State Highway 6 that need significant engineering works. There will have to be temporary highway closures to allow this work to be done.”
Mr James says specific dates for this work are still to be set, but road users will be kept informed.
“Waka Kotahi wants to thank residents and road users for their patience while we continue to carry out highway repairs across the top of the South Island. We know the delays road works cause can be frustrating, but this work is essential for maintaining and protecting the state highway network.”