The last remaining highway in Canterbury closed by earthquake damage is likely to re-open later this week according to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).
State Highway 74, one of the main routes into the Port of Lyttelton, has remained closed since Saturday’s quake while repairs are carried out on the road foundation.
NZTA Canterbury Highways Operations Manager Peter Connors says a decision on re-opening the highway will be made at midday tomorrow. If the good progress being made on repair work continues, it is possible the highway may open later tomorrow.
“The NZTA is aware of the importance of this key freight corridor into the Port of Lyttelton and we are working hard to open it as soon as possible, but before that can occur, we have to be certain there is no risk to road users. In the meantime a detour using local roads is available for light vehicles, and all heavy commercial vehicles travelling to the Port of Lyttelton are asked to detour via SH 1 Johns Road to SH73 Yaldhurst Road and Brougham Street.”
Earlier today the Lyttleton Tunnel was closed for about three hours so it could be checked for damage following a strong aftershock. The tunnel only suffered superficial damage and re-opened at 11.30 this morning. Meanwhile, the Chaney’s Road on-ramp on to State Highway 1 north of Christchurch could re-open before the end of the week.
State Highway 77 in Mid Canterbury is open with a two kilometre signposted detour from Glentunnel to Glenroy, where there is substantial subsidence in the road. This detour will remain in place for some time.
Up to date information Canterbury state highways can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) or by phoning 0800 44 44 49.
For further information on the situation on the ground in Christchurch visit the council’s earthquake information page at http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/(external link) or http://www.metroinfo.co.nz/(external link).