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State Highway 73 Update, Lower Otira Gorge now fully open - updated 2 Feb 4.32pm


NZ Transport Agency crews cleaned up highways on the West Coast today after last night and this morning’s heavy rain – 240 mm over 24 hours in South Westland.

Further work restoring the highway network will continue over the next two days.

The slip at Deception Point on the Lower Otira Gorge, State Highway 73, released a further 3,000 cubic metres of debris earlier today but has stabilised this afternoon as rain eased.

From 7 pm tonight (Wednesday, 1 February) to 7 am Thursday (2 February), the highway will be open with single lane traffic at the slip site controlled by priority Give Way signs. Drivers should be patient and expect short delays, says Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright.

The ten minute, hourly openings at the slip site will resume at 7 am tomorrow (Thursday) morning and the regime of openings will be reviewed Thursday afternoon.

The Transport Agency thanks all drivers for taking care while this slip area is made safe. 

Deception Point slip earlier today, rock bund in the foreground.

Deception Point slip earlier today, rock bund in the foreground.

Update: Thu 2 February 4.32pm

The highway is now fully open day and night with two lanes available as of Thursday afternoon, 2 February.