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Kawarau Gorge delays not acceptable says Transport Agency

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Drivers and passengers on State Highway 6 between Arrowtown and Cromwell faced long delays of up to an hour-and-a-half today when planned roadworks coincided with the unexpected closure of the Crown Range Road due to a slip.

Two pieces of work were underway in the gorge today: resealing of the road at Goldfields - 1.5 km of resealing/ rehabilitation in the gorge, which has been underway for three weeks now, and also for a two hour period, rock scaling at Nevis Bluff (midday to 2 pm). 

“The Transport Agency sincerely apologises to everyone held up in the Kawarau Gorge today,” says Graeme Hall, NZ Transport Agency System Manager.

The unacceptably long delays today compared to earlier shorter delays associated with the Goldfields resealing, due to the Crown Range/Cardrona route being closed so the Kawarau Gorge became the only route between Arrowtown and Cromwell. 

It was not anticipated that the Crown Range Road would be unexpectedly closed at the same time as this work was occurring, creating the traffic backlog which held people up for so long.

“A number of people phoned the Transport Agency to complain about the traffic backlog and we acknowledge that resealing in the gorge should have been paused earlier to release the pressure on the network,” says Mr Hall.

Although the planned work was advertised in advance to freight companies and other regular users of the highway, the combination with the Crown Range unplanned event and the effects upon traffic was not anticipated and these effects and delays should have been minimised earlier.

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