Contractors continuing to clear debris, slips and flooding from state highway network


Work continues at pace to clear slips and debris from a number of State Highways in order to minimise travel disruptions.

Significant progress has been made on the network overnight and today following relentless rainfall in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Coromandel this weekend.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Regional Manager of Maintenance and Operations Peter Brown says at the moment the focus for contractors is clearing debris, slips and ensuring lanes are open and useable.

He says while a number of key state highways have been cleared today, there have been additional slips in other areas, forcing more closures.

Key closures:

Northland region

SH1 Brynderwyn to Waipu:

  • Forecast wet weather means that SH1 Brynderwyn Hills will remain closed from the SH12 intersection to Waipu.
  • Motorists should expect delays with a detour via Waipu / Mangawhai. Freight and heavy vehicles are advised to detour via SH12.

Auckland region

SH1 South-Eastern Highway off-ramp:

  • Due to flooding, SH1 South-eastern Motorway off-ramp southbound is currently closed. Expect delays.

SH16 Great North Road Off-ramp and Great North:

  • Due to flooding and underslips, SH16 Great North Road off-ramp is currently closed. Expect delays.

Both off-ramps are expected to re-open later tonight (weather depending).

Waikato / Coromandel region

SH25 Thames to Coromandel:

  • The slip at Ruamahunga has now been cleared and the road is open under stop/go traffic management.

SH25 Coromandel to Whitianga

  • A large slip has come down on Whangapoua Hill, and this route is now no longer accessible. Work is being undertaken to reopen this slip to one lane as soon as possible.
    From Coromandel, SH25 Thames Coast Road is open and from Te Rerenga / Whangapoua, SH25 towards Whitianga is open through to Waihi (as flooding has now receded).

SH25A Kopu to Hikuai:

  • A large section of the road at summit of SH25A between Kopu and Hikuai collapsed yesterday afternoon.
    The highway is closed until further notice. The Tapu-Coroglen and 309 roads are also closed.
    Detour is State Highway 2 via Karangahake Gorge.

SH37 Waitomo

  • SH37 remains closed due to a large slip between the roundabout at SH3 and Fullerton Road.
    Work is being undertaken to reopen this slip to one lane as soon as possible.

SH2 Karangahake Gorge

  • The gorge remains open however we are closely monitoring for any signs of flooding. The DoC carpark is closed and we discourage access to leisure facilities during this time.

Taranaki region

SH43 Stratford to Taumarunui

  • Due to a drop out, SH 43 is closed between Stratford and Taumaranui.

For more on road closures, please visit our latest Traffic Bulletin(external link)

“We’ve also been undertaking geotechnical assessments in a number of areas where there have been slips onto the road and underneath the road,” says Mr Brown.

“We know there’s going to be further need to assess the damage to the network and that will happen as quickly as possible.  The immediate priority is making sure as many roads as possible have at least some access. Our main priority is the safety of motorists using the roads and contractors working on them.

“One of the concerns we have is the rain forecast for the middle of the week. Any rain, even if it’s not quite as heavy as this weekend’s rain, will be falling onto already-sodden roads and soil.

“I want to thank road users for their patience and understanding as we deal with these issues and to anticipate further possible closures in places,” says Mr Brown.

“We’re working on plans to repair and restore damaged parts of the network, but in many cases we need to wait for warmer, drier weather.

“For example, repairing SH25A in Coromandel, will be crucial for that area. Taking into consideration geotechnical advice, we’re working on a plan to remove all the really loose soil and strengthen the base of the road ….but this will depend on better weather.

“We know it can be frustrating when you face delays on the road, or the inconvenience of roadworks, but thank you for your patience and understand. Please allow more time for your trips at the moment and be courteous to other road users.

“The adverse weather isn’t in our control and the rain keeps moving swiftly. So if you do come across a slip or debris or flooding that you can’t see listed on our Journey Planner(external link)  just yet, please call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS.

“As always, if you must travel at this time, exercise extreme caution. Drive to the conditions, which means keeping a safe following distance and dropping your speed. Be prepared for some road surfaces to be rough where rain has stripped top layers of the seal and watch for flooding and other debris on the road,” says Mr Brown.

Please check road and weather conditions before your journey:

Waka Kotahi Journeys(external link)

Metservice Weather Warnings(external link)

For more information on the Auckland storm event see: link) link) link)