SH1 at Loop Road opens to two lanes, but other flood-affected Northland roads remain closed


Two-way traffic has been restored through the Loop Road area on State Highway 1 south of Whangarei tonight after repairs to a 30 metre section of road washed out by heavy rain yesterday. 

The road opened to two-way traffic with a 30kph speed limit just after  6:30PM, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult. 

For most of the day, the road has been down to one lane with stop/go operators managing traffic flows while road crews repaired the damaged southbound lane.

“It’s been a long tough day for our workers in difficult conditions but they have managed to rebuild the road to a safe standard and we can re-open it to overnight traffic. The flooding also caused potholes in other parts of the road and they will be repaired in daylight hours tomorrow.”

The damaged road is part of a temporary section of SH1 past the Loop Road roundabout construction site.

Elsewhere, SH11 from Paihia to Kawakawa remains closed by flooding at Taumarere. SH1 had been closed by flooding at Moerewa for much of the day, but tonight some vehicles are being allowed through.

In the Far North, SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge is likely to be closed for some time by at least seven major slips. SH10 is the detour route north to Kaitaia.

Opening SH1 at Moerewa and using SH10 as a detour route restores access to the Far North.

The road closures follow Friday’s heavy downpours and thunderstorms that caused road slips and widespread flooding in low-lying areas. Civil Defence has called it a one in five hundred years weather event.

A Metservice forecast issued at 4pm today is for more periods of rain or showers, heavy at times with thunderstorms and localised downpours possible. It’s forecasting more of the same for Sunday.

“Our advice is for people to delay their travel if possible. We know there will be families wanting to get home from school holidays, but safety is our priority.”

“We ask motorists to check the Waka Kotahi travel information website(external link)  for latest updates. Plan your journey before setting off and allow extra time,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.

“We also ask you to follow the instructions of the road crews to keep everybody safe. If they have closed the road it is for a very good reason and people should not try to drive through the closure point.”

“We thank motorists for their patience and understanding as we maintain road closures until the floodwaters recede and we complete checks and essential repairs.”

“If your travel is essential, take care especially at night, drive to the conditions and watch out for unexpected road hazards like surface flooding in low-lying areas, potholes, slips or fallen trees. Heavy rain can also reduce visibility,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.

Roads closed today but now open include slips cleared on SH1 in Whangarei and SH11 near Opua. SH1 Moerewa still has water on the road but some vehicles are being allowed through.

State highway road still closed tonight:

  • SH1 is closed through the Mangamuka Gorge between Okaihau and Victoria Valley Rd by slips and flooding.
  • SH1 reduced to one lane by flooding at Whakapara.
  • SH11 flooding at Taumarere between Opua and Kawakawa.
  • SH12 flooding at Taheke Bridge.
  • SH15 flooding at Poroti.
  • SH16 at Makarua a tree has come down, bringing down a power line and partially blocking

the road