Kaikoura State Highway 1 update, inland road Wandle River Bailey bridge change


State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura is expected to remain closed till the end of May to allow the construction of a temporary road and rail alignment around the base of the large landslide that came down during April’s cyclones.

“Although crews were hopeful this highway could be reopened next week (22 May), the amount of work to do and the large amount of material to manage from slip 29a, near Rosy Morn, 3 km south of Peketa, means this has not been possible,” says Steve Mutton, NZ Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager.

A 300 metre road and rail diversion around the bottom of this large landslip is being constructed with crews working all the daylight hours.

About 12,000 cubic metres of fill is being used to raise the surface of the rocky beach by four metres to provide a shelf for the new road. The fill includes material from the slip that came down, as well as recycled railway ballast. A tarmac road designed to Transport Agency specifications will be laid, and rock armour placed on the seaward face of the new embankment for protection from coastal erosion. Rail tracks will also be diverted around the toe of the slip, alongside the new road.

Further updates will be provided in the week starting 29 May.

The North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery teams thank all local residents for their patience throughout this extended period of highway closure. The inland road, Route 70, via Waiau and Mt Lyford, is the current only road open into Kaikoura.

Photo shows the construction of the road/rail temporary route well out from the slip area.

Kaikoura State Highway 1

Avoid travelling over the Wandle River Bridge – Inland Road, Route 70, overnight on Monday 22 May

Drivers will have limited access at the Wandle River Bridge on the Inland Road near Waiau / Mt Lyford overnight Monday 22 May.

Plans are in place, subject to weather, to remove the old Wandle River Bridge for demolition from 7pm Monday until 7am Tuesday morning 23 May. The temporary Bailey bridge installed after the earthquakes will close overnight due to its close proximity to the demolition work.

From Monday 7 pm until Tuesday, 7 am, any traffic on the inland road to Kaikoura will need to travel through the river ford, which is the current route used by heavy vehicles.

Drivers are asked to avoid travelling this route overnight Monday while this work is being done, as a precaution. 

The two bridges over the Wandle River – one damaged, one a replacement Bailey.

Wandle River bridges

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