Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises that State Highway 25 between Hikuai and Opoutere will open to one lane this evening to allow light vehicle access over the weekend, after an underslip took out part of the road earlier in the week.
A blessing ceremony led by Dr Wayne Ngata (Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngati Ira and Ngati Porou) with support from Mark Kopua and Iwiata Williams this morning has paved the way for construction of a temporary Bailey bridge to replace the Hikuwai #1 bridge, which was destroyed during Cyclone Gabrielle, to get underway from Monday.
Waka Kotahi is working closely with Civil Defence and other central and local government partners to minimise the impact of the closure of State Highway 2 between Tangoio and Tūtira to residents and emergency services.
Two ‘gateway’ sculptures – formally opened today at each end of Ōtaki as part of the State Highway 1 Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway (PP2Ō) project north of Wellington – will attract attention to the township and encourage people to exit the new expressway to visit.
State highway links in several areas of the North Island are re-opening as floodwaters recede and slip debris is cleared, but Waka Kotahi is urging people only to travel where and when necessary, and asking those who are travelling to use caution and allow extra time for journeys with restrictions still in place in many areas.
Last night Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency restored access to areas of the Coromandel when State Highway 25 reopened from Thames to Matarangi around the east coast, but this is for essential travel only and extreme caution is advised.