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Majority of South Island highways open again

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The Transport Agency says most of the highways closed by yesterday’s winter storm that struck many parts of the South Island are open again.

Clearing weather and the efforts of road contractors have made this possible.

The highway closure situation at 4.30pm 19 June 2015:

SH8– closed, Twizel to Tekapo, hoping to open at 5pm
SH80 – to Mount Cook closed 
SH73 Arthurs Pass – open overnight, chains essential, no trucks or towing. A manned checkpoint will operate on both sides of the pass overnight.  

Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright says while a lot of the highways are open now drivers need to take care and watch for surface water, as a number of road side channels are full to over flowing in places. There are vehicle restrictions still in pace on many parts of the highway; SH6 Haast Pass, SH8 Lindis Pass, SH73 Arthurs Pass, SH79 Fairlie to Geraldine.

Flooding issues on West Coast highways have eased, but there is still a lot of surface water around that could catch out unsuspecting drivers.  

Ms Wright says black ice is another concern over the coming days and drivers need to keep their speeds down, especially on bridge decks and areas of road shaded by trees or embankments, where you can expect these conditions.

People should look at delaying non-essential travel tonight, given the likely challenging driver conditions they could encounter. Anyone who does need to travel,  should carry chains in their vehicle and know how to fit them, and take extra blankets and clothing with them she said.

For the latest on road information freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS 0800 44 44 49 or visit the Transport Agency’s website:www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link)

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