SH73 Otira Gorge maintenance

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Project introduction

The road surface on SH73 Otira Gorge between Candy’s Creek Bridge and the Rock Shelter was at the end of its life and has now been replaced.

About the project

The resurfacing project on SH73 Otira Gorge was carried out between Tuesday 5 December and Friday 15 December and is complete.

A 342m section of road in the Otira Gorge has been resurfaced and the road was closed to complete the work quickly and safely.

The area re-surfaced is located above the Rock Shelter below the viaduct on the Otira/West Coast side of the highway. We replaced the road surface which had reached the end of its life.

  • Project background

    This road was last fully resealed around 12 years ago, with just short-term repairs in more recent years.

    This was a critical piece of work located in a very challenging environment. The road is narrow in this part of the Otira Gorge with only around 7.5 metres between the guardrail and cliff face. This means the paving and sealing machines filled up the entire space and didn’t allow room for traffic to safely pass while the work is underway.

    The area is also steep, with rock fall risk and extreme weather.  

    SH73 Otira Gorge is an important transport corridor connecting Christchurch to the West Coast. Closing the road means we got a lot more work done in a shorter space of time, compared with working under stop-go traffic management over multiple days and weekends.

    We thank everyone for their patience while we completed this important work.