The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to avoid non-essential travel across the Wellington region, with rain continuing to fall and more severe weather on its way.
“Heavy rain is forecast to continue and flooding and slips are widespread. This is making travel conditions hazardous,” says Acting Wellington Highways Manager Neil Walker. “Our advice to avoid travel unless you absolutely have to.
“If you absolutely must travel, please expect delays and take utmost care. The risk of crashes is far higher in these conditions, and we urge people to put safety first.”
In Kapiti, where flooding and slips is particularly severe, residents are advised to keep an eye on the WREMO website and the Kapiti Coast District Council Facebook page.
SH1 is closed between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay, and detours are unavailable as the Paekakariki Hill Road is affected by slips and flooding. Train services have also been suspended.
Contractors are at the scene to remove the slip, which is about 40 cubic metres in volume.
“It’s been one of the wettest weeks in recent memory, and this has taken its toll by causing slips and flooding across the local transport network,” says Mr Walker.
“We know how frustrating it is to miss appointments, work and other commitments, and we assure motorists that our contractors will be working furiously to get the road safely reopened.”
Mr Walker thanked the public for their patience and understanding. He reminded motorists that conditions across the entire transport network were slippery, and if people must travel, it was critical to watch following distances and speed. He also urged people to prepare in advance for any travel plans later in the day throughout the lower North Island.
“Heavy rain is expected for the rest of the day so plan ahead for travel home tonight, and make contingency plans if you need to pick up children.”
Mr Walker says the Wellington Transport Operations Centre is working with Police and local authorities to manage the situation and working hard with contractors on the ground to get the road fully open and keep travellers safe.
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