All West Coast highway passes open again


All the main highway passes to the West Coast are back in action after being hard hit by the wintry blast that has gripped much of the South Island for the last two days.

The NZ Transport Agency’s contractors have worked hard today get both SH7 the Lewis Pass between the Hanmer turn off and Springs Junction and, SH73 between Arthurs Pass and Otira open.  Although all West Coast highways are now operating many have restrictions in place. Details on these plus the latest highway information can be found at link).

NZTA West Coast Area Manager Mark Pinner says while it is great to have these highways back in business drivers still need to take extreme care.

“This storm and another major one earlier this month, highlight the need for motorists to be well prepared at this time of year and to expect the unexpected, where the weather is concerned.”

Mr Pinner said it is important for people to plan their trips and allow extra time to get to their destination and drive to the conditions.  It is also a good idea to carry chains, have food and warm clothing in the vehicle along with a well charged cell phone for emergencies.