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Kaikoura access: 12.45 pm Thursday, Kaikoura road remains closed, all drivers need to take need care across South Island

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All drivers are warned that conditions across the country mean they need to take care and build in extra time today. NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright says:

  • Drive with patience, slow down – keep your speed down, stick to speed restrictions
  • Be aware of surface flooding on roads, potholes forming
  • Watch for fallen trees/debris on the roads and road crews clearing hazards
  • Add extra time for your journey
  • Stop for a break, avoid fatigue.

Waiau/ Mt Lyford road (Route 70) - crews working hard but road still closed

The inland road (Route 70) to Kaikoura via Waiau and Mt Lyford remains closed.  The next update will be closer to 2 pm.

Crews are working hard with sluicing and clearing material to make one area at the Conway Bluffs safe.  If this area can be cleared, the road couldreopen later today. Check this page for updates.(external link)

Crews have cleared other slips and installed two sets of traffic lights on narrow parts of the road ready for Stop /Go single lane traffic management.  The pavement is still fragile with many work sites, as well as recent small slips and numerous temporary speed signs.

The road below the Whale’s Back, Route 70, earlier today with the river in flood.

State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura remains closed

State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura is likely to remain closed all day today (Thursday). High volumes of rain caused mudslides to block the highway in the past two days, pushing rock-filled containers over the edge of the road.

Five mud and rock slides are now blocking the road in different sections and teams of excavators and loaders will be working today to clear those slips.

“At Site 14 near the Paratitahi Tunnels, more of the soil and rock has come down in the heavy rain last night. The shipping containers have again been pushed closer to the sea and an estimated 2000 cubic metres has fallen from that slip face. This slip needs to be cleared and the containers reinstated before the road can reopen,” says Steve Mutton, Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager.

(Check NZ Transport Agency South Island Facebook pages for more photos(external link))

Please check these pages(external link)  on the Transport Agency’s Traffic and Travel pages for updates on the closure and status of the highway.

State Highway 1 Kekerengu to Clarence has reopened

Access to Clarence was restored thismorning with debris cleared from the highway south of Kekerengu. Parts of the road will be reduced to one lane in several places and 30km/hour speed limit.  Flooding at Tirohanga has receded, but drivers need to take extreme care in many places.

Ways to find out what is happening on the highway network:

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