Christchurch to Picton, SH1, extra hour needed, multiple work sites


With the end of the summer highway maintenance and sealing season, there are some higher impact delays coming up on SH1 linking Picton and Christchurch next week, says NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA).

Tuesday and Thursday, 5 and 7 March, are two days where there are unavoidable closures of up to 30 minutes in Marlborough for power lines replacement work. To the south, there will be Stop/Go delays up to 30 minutes in North Canterbury and Kaikōura for resealing, rock scaling and road barrier maintenance.

People should build in an extra hour at least to their journeys on this section of SH1, says NZTA. Northbound traffic (heading towards the ferries) will be prioritised where possible. The Marlborough grape harvest is also adding to traffic and requires a lot more caution from all road users.

All of March through to Easter will continue to be busy for road works maintenance in Canterbury and Marlborough, advises NZTA Journey Manager Tresca Forrester.

“So please check the NZTA traffic and travel pages before you head out and build in time to avoid stress. Wherever possible, road work sites will use Stop/Go traffic management where traffic can be contra-flowed around a work site. But for some sites we need a full stoppage of 20 to 30 minutes, holding traffic in both directions,” she says.

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Work site delays are being co-ordinated as much as practicable across the two regions but given the need for urgent projects like power line replacements, some delays are unavoidable.

After Easter, work site delays will reduce as maintenance and other projects are scaled back with the cooler temperatures, says Ms Forrester. “Thanks to all road users for keeping it calm on our highways and being prepared for these delays as we get this crucial repair work completed ahead of winter.”

North Canterbury, Kaikōura SH1 work includes:

  • Kaikōura and Siberia Bluffs (Conway River) - rock scaling, Stop/Go delays up to 30 minutes, 7am to 6pm, Monday 4 March to Thursday, 28 March.
  • Cheviot to Domett - fibre installation, Stop/Go short delays through to 20 April.
  • Spye and Wyllies railway crossings - repairs and resealing approaches, Stop/Go up to 20 minutes through to Wednesday, 13 March.
  • Waipara to Greta Valley – reseals at several sites, Stop/Go up to 20 minutes, Thursday, 7 March to Tuesday, 12 March.

Marlborough, SH1 highway work:

  • Marlborough Lines – Tuesday and Thursday, 5 and 7 March, Lake Grassmere: Three or four 30-minute full stops in both directions, 9 am to 3 pm.  (Contingency day Tuesday, 12 March). View related media release
  • Seddon - in progress until Friday, 8 March: 5-10 minute delays in peak times.
  • St Andrews Vineyard – starts Monday, 11 March: Minimal delays, lowered speed limit.
  • Tuamarina – Monday, 4 March, 7am to 6pm: Stop/Go short closures.
  • Koromiko – Tuesday, 5 March, 7am to 6pm: Guardrail repairs under Stop/Go.
  • Picton Elevation – Tuesday, 5 March, 7am to 6pm: Road shoulder work with a lower speed limit – minimal delays.
  • The grape harvest affects the wider Marlborough region including local roads and other highways: From Koromiko in the north to Ward in the south and along the Wairau Valley to the west. Road users can expect activity on all state highways – SH1, SH6, SH62, and SH63. View related media release. Drivers must be aware of harvest season activities, particularly around vineyards, and take extra care on the roads. Avoid passing or overtaking and be aware harvesters will be entering and leaving vineyards slowly.