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Update on Takaka Hill, SH60, convoys going well Sunday 25 February

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The Takaka Hill Road, State Highway 60, opened to a single lane with escorted convoys in and out of Golden Bay soon after 9am this morning in the wake of extensive damage wrought by Ex-Cyclone Gita just under a week ago. Around 750 vehicles had made the trip by 11am.

“We’ve been pleased with how the convoys have been flowing this morning so thanks to everyone for taking care once underway,” says Transport Agency System Manager Frank Porter. “There is now capacity for vehicles wanting to head out of Golden Bay. The wait time at the moment is 20 to 30 minutes, but obviously that will vary so people should still be prepared for delays.”

  • In the coming week (26 February to 2 March), convoys will operate at 7 am and 5 pm (two slots) each day, however we will update this plan if conditions change.
  • All openings are subject to the road’s condition remaining safe and weather.

The following are not be permitted to travel over the route, given the narrow and winding road condition with unsealed sections:

Pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles towing caravans, boats or trailers, truck and trailer units or over-dimension units.

If you have a caravan, boat or trailer, it will have to stay on whatever side of the Takaka hill you are on until further notice. The lack of maneuverability of caravans and boats around the narrow highway’s tight bends is the key reason for not allowing them at this stage.

  • People wanting to get to Golden Bay for just a day are encouraged to stay away at this stage until the road is in better condition. People with booked or planned holidays, driving cars or campervans, will be able to get to Takaka today but there will be fewer opportunities for them to leave again in the coming five days.
  • Only one direction is allowed to travel at a time so people should expect to wait between convoys and come prepared with food and water. However, the average wait time at midday today was 20 – 30 minutes.
  • If conditions deteriorate, due to traffic or weather, the road will be closed.
Takaka Hill Road convoy

View of parts of the road, ready for limited convoy trips.

Takaka Hill Road convoy

Takaka Hilltop.

Parking and waiting areas on both sides

There are waiting areas on both the Takaka and Riwaka sides of the hill. Crews are checking the types of vehicles and people’s need to travel. Vehicles that are able to travel in a convoy will be directed to a waiting area and those unable to travel over the hill will be redirected to a safe location to turn around.

“We continue to ask that people be patient and not take your frustrations out on the crews working on site,” says Mr Porter.

For more information and updates on work to repair SH60, Takaka Hill Road, visit www.nzta.govt.nz/takaka-hill

Check the Facebook(external link) and Twitter(external link) sites for updates.

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