The NZ Transport Agency is asking heavy vehicles operators to travel the Tairua way around State Highway 25 to minimise further damage to the number of worksites under repair.
State Highway 25 is now open to both north and south bound traffic however travel on the western side, Thames Coast, has an escorted convoy and a number of work sites, so long delays are likely.
Work is continuing at multiple sites along the highway to repair damage from the storm. There is extensive damage along the 42 kilometres of highway between Thames and Manaia. Within this there are 29 locations, totalling about 2.4 kilometres, which have been repaired or need repair before the road can open fully to two lanes of traffic.
“Over the last 72 hours the Transport Agency and our Contractor, Higgins, have worked very quickly to repair and make these sites safe," says NZTA Transport System Manager Karen Boyt.
As a result, the convoy is now significantly reduced in length. There is currently a cordon at Whakatete Bay and another at Te Puru, where traffic can assemble for convoys which will run continuously, but there will be significant delays.
“We really do need heavy vehicles to continue to use the longer route because the Thames Coast Road is still highly sensitive to further damage.
“While the road is open to traffic long delays may occur so motorists are asked to defer their journey or take alternative routes if possible,” Ms Boyt says.
The road is expected to open tomorrow, however some parts will remain at one lane so people can expect delays. The convoy system will be removed once the road is open.
A thorough road inspection is taking place so a detailed plan for the repair of SH25 can be prepared.
Heavy vehicles are now prohibited from the Thames Coast Road to prevent further damage.
Heavy vehicles can travel between Thames and Coromandel on the eastern side of the peninsula, via Tairua.