Saddle Road maintenance work starting soon


The NZ Transport Agency is advising that road maintenance and surfacing works to repair sections of the pavement on the Saddle Road, is set to begin this Saturday 15 July.

The road is under extra pressure following the closure of the Manawatū Gorge and several sections of the road are in need of critical maintenance. The Transport Agency has taken over management and maintenance of Saddle Road from Tararua District Council, and has been doing spot repairs on potholes.

Regional Transport System Manager Ross I’Anson says to ensure that the heavy maintenance repairs can be completed as quickly as possible, there will be restrictions to traffic for about three weeks between the hours of 9am and 3pm as follows:

  • West to East traffic (Ashhurst – Woodville) – single lane traffic on Saddle Road
  • East to West traffic (Woodville to Ashhurst) – detour over Pahīatua Track

Mr I’Anson says the work is essential to ensure the Saddle Road, which has been undergoing a $8.5 million upgrade due for completion this summer, is able to safely cope with the increase in traffic volumes with the gorge closed since April.

The heavy maintenance work requires large milling machines on the road and hence the need to restrict traffic due to their size.

Completing this work will strengthen the road and improve journeys for motorists.

“This work is however dependant on the weather and a decision will be made each day on what works are able proceed. If the weather is too poor to allow the work to go ahead, Saddle Road will be open to traffic in both directions.”

Updates on whether the road works are going ahead and restrictions are in place, will be displayed on Variable Message Signs around the routes.

The Transport Agency is also monitoring the condition of the Pahīatua Track while the Manawatū Gorge is closed and will continue to work the local authorities in the area on reinforcing signage about routes.

Meanwhile Transport Agency contractors have been putting up extra signage around Woodville about the detours.

For more information on the Manawatū Gorge closure, please visit the NZTA Manawatū Gorge(external link) page, NZTA Central North Island Facebook(external link) and Twitter(external link), or NZTA website.