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West Coast highways update – 10.45am Wednesday

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A number of highways on the West Coast remain closed today after torrential rain and rock-filled rivers took out the Waiho River Bridge Tuesday afternoon on State Highway 6 near Franz Josef.

The Bailey bridge over the river, fed by the Franz Josef Glacier, will be replaced in coming days. “We are aiming to reconnect State Highway 6 across the Waiho within the next week to ten days,” says Pete Connors, System Manager, NZ Transport Agency.

Transport Agency crews and engineers are getting a closer look at the Waiho Bridge piers and abutments (where the bridge joins the bank) today as river levels drop.

State Highway 6 – Hokitika to Makarora remains closed, but crews working hard to restore access to north and south

Slips between Makarora and Haast are being cleared today and other parts of the highway on either side of the Waiho River, south of Franz Josef, are likely to open today as crews clear debris, giving people a way south and north from the glacier towns.

Please check these West Coast and Otago links for updates and changes:

North of Greymouth, SH6 Barrytown to Westport – now open

Slips and surface flooding closed the highway north of Greymouth yesterday from Barrytown. It has now reopened.

State Highway 73, Arthur’s Pass route – closed today

This highway has slips around Candys and Kellys Creeks. It is unlikely to reopen today but crews are aiming to have it open tomorrow, Thursday 28 March. Check the web link to confirm.

Kellys Creek washout on SH73 earlier today

Kellys Creek washout on SH73 earlier today

Lewis Pass, SH7 via Waipara and Reefton – open

The Lewis Pass is the link between Canterbury and the West Coast today.

Driving advice

“Anyone on other roads on the West Coast, please keep your speeds down, there will be surface flooding. Watch out for speed restrictions, debris and road crews,” says Mr Hey.

Westland District Council Civil Defence updates:
www.westlanddc.govt.nz(external link)

Facebook:
www.facebook.com/westlanddistrictcouncil(external link)

West Coast Regional Council rainfall and river data:
www.wcrc.govt.nz/our-region/river-level-and-rainfall/Pages/default.aspx(external link)
data.wcrc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/HydWebServer.cgi(external link)

MetService:
www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings(external link)

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