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Washed out section of State Highway 1 poised to reopen

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The NZ Transport Agency says the replacement of a flood damaged culvert that closed a section of State highway 1 near Waipahi in South Otago earlier this month, should be repaired by this Thursday (18 July).

The section of highway 3km west of Waipahi was closed on 4 July after a section of the highway around a flooded culvert was washed out making the road unsafe. A detour that adds about 10 minutes to the travel time to Gore has been in place since, with State highway 93 between Clinton and Mataura offering an alternative route south.

NZ Transport Agency Otago/Southland State highways Manager Ian Duncan says what’s left of the existing culvert is being removed and replaced by a 30 metre culvert that is twice as wide as the old one and can handle much large amounts of water.

“Stream channel and bank enhancements will also provide greater protection against the flood scouring that caused this washout. These measures, plus the installation concrete walls around the entrance and exit of the new culvert provide additional stream embankment support.”

Mr Duncan said we appreciate the patience of road users during this closure. However, the risk of further washouts at this site should be greatly reduced by this work costing an estimated $230,000.

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