Temporary SH79 closure at Rangitata, South Canterbury, for railway level crossing safety improvements


The railway crossing on State Highway 79 at Rangitata, South Canterbury, will be temporarily closed, with detours in place, over the last weekend of this month (30 March – 1 April) for safety improvements.

The NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail are replacing the railway tracks on the crossing and renewing the road surface to make it smoother and safer to drive across. Signs and markings around this crossing will also be upgraded.

These improvements are part of the Government’s $1.4 billion three-year Safe Network Programme, delivering safety improvements on high-risk routes across New Zealand to make roads more forgiving of people’s mistakes. The Safe Network programme focuses on safe roads and roadsides, safe and appropriate speeds, and safe railway level crossings.

Transport Agency System Manager Pete Connors says the crossing will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians for this weekend work.

Detour map of Rangitata, South Canterbury.

Detour map in South Canterbury.

There will be detours in place from 7am, Saturday 30 March until 6am, Monday 1 April, while the work is underway.

People who plan to travel on SH79 between SH1 in Rangitata and the intersection at Geraldine Arundel Road will be affected.  This is a main route to Aoraki/Mount Cook.

Drivers heading south will be diverted at Hinds onto Hinds Arundel Road to connect with SH72. Northbound drivers will be diverted at Orari onto Orari Station Road to connect with SH79 at Geraldine. The alternative routes around the closure will be clearly signposted.

Mr Connors says the team working on the crossing upgrade will endeavour to carry out the work as quickly and as efficiently as possible to minimise any disruption. 

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