Otira Gorge delays while new guardrail fixed in place


Drivers on the Canterbury-West Coast highway (State Highway 73) through the Otira Gorge should build in extra time over the next few weeks.

The NZ Transport Agency is reattaching a guard rail to the edge of the precipitous road, requiring traffic lights and one lane of traffic only.

Delays could be five to ten minutes, on a steep slope in both directions.

Work is likely to start on Monday 2 November, weather dependent, and run until 20 November. The traffic lights will operate 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, while the crew is working on the guard rail.

A rockslide at the Rock Shelter at the end of September(external link) wiped out several metres of the guard rail and initially required a short term closure while the road was cleared and the slope sluiced for loose material.

The Rock Shelter is on the West Coast side of the Otira Gorge. (See photos(external link) in the original story.) The road has been narrowed but operating with two lanes since the slip, with temporary edge protection in places.

The Transport Agency thanks all drivers for being patient while this important piece of work is completed for everyone’s safety.