Upcoming planned closures between Peketa and Goose Bay, south of Kaikoura, on State Highway 1, will enable essential work to be completed on the unstable slopes above the road, says Colin Knaggs, Project Delivery Manager for the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance.
“The highway was opened for daytime hours last year before Christmas following the November earthquake which closed the road north and south of the town. But a major new slip on the south side of SH1 in the wake of Cyclone Cook covered the highway at Easter, requiring more emergency work and more limited hours open to the south since.”
The highway to the south has for most of this winter been open Friday to Mondays, daytime hours.
The NCTIR alliance is aiming to reopen the highway north and south of Kaikoura by the end of this year.
A longer scheduled closure between Peketa and Goose Bay from 4 to 8 September, the extension of the four day week to the end of this year as well as new works starting in the Hundalees between Parnassus and Oaro are needed to ensure the highway to the south is ready to be reopened by the end of this year.
“NCTIR teams have been working closely with local residents to ensure they are aware of these upcoming closures and the reasons why they are necessary,” says Mr Knaggs.
Five day closure between Peketa and Goose Bay, Monday 4 September -Friday 8 September
This five day closure will enable crews to dislodge further materials from a number of hazardous rockface sites to make this area more resilient. While this work is underway, it will be too dangerous for any convoys of traffic.
The highway will be reopened to traffic on Saturday, 9 September, 7 am to 6 pm, the usual hours, through to Monday night.
These dates are subject to weather and tides which could delay the work, or require further work at a later date. NCTIR will provide updates if there are any changes to this timeframe during this week of 4-8 September.
Weekly Peketa to Goose Bay open/closed schedule extended until end of year
The regular weekly open/closed schedule, Friday to Monday daytime hours, 7 am to 6 pm, for State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura will continue until December.
“The schedule allows people to travel to and from Kaikoura from the south by the most direct route four days of the week and is helpful for weekend events in the town,” says Mr Knaggs.
“It has also enabled the 100-plus crew members working in this narrow corridor, between the cliffs and the sea, to make progress on the earthquake rebuild. Given the scale of work needed between Peketa and Goose Bay, it is essential that we maintain this work regime through to the end of this year if we want the highway reopened as planned.”
Crews are aiming to ensure this four day, daytime hours open schedule will be maintained as consistently as possible until the full highway reopening, barring weather-related events or other emergency works.
New work in the Hundalees, south of Oaro, SH1, adding to journey times
Work begins this week (starting 21 August) on the significant amount of work to repair this stretch of State Highway 1 by the end of 2017.
Two sites are being set up in the Hundalees, the hilly area south of Kaikoura, for a crane which will install large steel beams and timber retaining walls. These are being placed behind the damaged gabion retaining walls which support the highway.
Drivers should expect delays of up to 20 minutes with one-lane stop/go.
“NCTIR crews are looking to provide as much notice as possible and certainty to help people plan their travel and to ensure people living and working along SH1 or on the side roads are aware of these planned closures and can keep their customers informed also,” says Mr Knaggs.
“The Transport Agency, KiwiRail and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance thank all drivers who are affected by these closures for their patience as work continues to reconnect communities along the coast.”