Hard work and great progress: SH1 Brynderwyn Hills to re-open over Easter


With Easter fast approaching, the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) project team carrying out critical restoration work to SH1 Brynderwyn Hills are getting ready to down tools and shut off engines to safely re-open the road for holiday traffic, giving a boost to Northland businesses over this critical period. 

The Brynderwyn Hills have been temporarily closed so work could be done faster to make the road more reliable for people before winter. A huge amount of work has been undertaken so far and the project team is well on track to complete the remaining work requiring a full closure after the Easter break.

Steve Mutton, Director Regional Relationships NZTA would like to thank the over 520 staff on the project, many of them locals, who have worked day and night excavating, hydroseeding, installing retaining walls and cutting over 127,000 m³ of soil. 

“We’d also like to thank the Northland community, freight groups, industries and all road users who have been patient with us while this critical route has been closed. 

“We know that this is an inconvenience and the detour routes do take longer, especially for freight, and we hope that this brief re-opening will provide some reprieve ahead of the final closure block next month,” says Steve Mutton. 

When the work is completed, traffic lanes will be moved closer to the hill and a shoulder created allowing more room to clear slips and debris, minimising the need for lengthy, major closures in future events.
People using the road over the Easter break will notice the shoulder space being created and the considerable amount of earth and vegetation that has been removed from the hillside. A number of levels (known as benches) have also been cut into the newly created slopes and will have temporary barriers in place during this time.  

“We know there is considerable interest in the work that has been completed during the closure to date, however we’d like to remind people that there is strictly no stopping on any state highways unless there is an emergency. 

“During the six-day reopening people can expect to see safety measures in place near to areas crews have been working. We ask all road users to allow extra time for their journey as traffic volumes will be increased over the holiday period. 
“Please drive to the conditions, including obeying any temporary speed limits and maintaining adequate following distances, so everyone can reach their destination safely” says Steve Mutton. 

NZTA is continuing to work alongside its partners in Northland to minimise the impact of the planned closure and ensure clear, consistent communication to our communities, industries, and visitors to the Northland region.

NZTA has been working closely with Northland Inc and other key stakeholders to let people know that Northland is open for business and ready to welcome visitors.

Paul Linton, Chief Executive Northland Inc is looking forward to seeing people travel north for their holidays this Easter. 

“We encourage people to explore the amazing places, businesses and people that Northland has to offer and to take a trip Northland style, making the journey through the winterless north part of their holiday, not just the destination.” 

The road will open to all traffic for six days over Easter from 12:01am Thursday 28 March until 11:59pm Tuesday 2 April.  
The road will then close again at 12:01am on Wednesday 3 April until 11:59pm Sunday 12 May to complete the remaining work that requires a full closure. All recovery works are expected to be complete by late 2024.

The three scenic detour routes will remain available, including SH12/SH14, Paparoa Oakleigh Road and Cove Road. Contractor teams are proactively inspecting the routes every day to address any issues and ensure that the roads are as high quality as possible including clear signage and wayfinding.