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SH1 Desert Road to close next week


State Highway 1 Desert Road will be closed to traffic for 36 hours from 7am on Wednesday 7 March and will continue to be one lane until April while the deck is replaced on the Waihohonu Stream bridge.

Waihohonu Stream Bridge works.

Work is progressing well on the Waihohonu Stream Bridge works.

The bridge was damaged by a truck crash in July 2017 and has been one lane since 17 February.

The full closure will take place from 7am on Wednesday 7 March until 7pm on Thursday 8 March and another similar 36-hour closure is scheduled for 4-5 April.

The closures are to enable the concrete deck to be poured and are both weather-dependent.

Outside of the closure times people can expect the bridge to be down to one lane, with some short closures of around 5 minutes. There is a 30km/h limit in place.

The alternative route is State Highways 46, 47, 4, and 49. This detour is not suitable for vehicles over 44 tonnes, apart from 50MAX which is permitted.

There are also multiple maintenance work sites on the Desert Road during this period and  delays are possible at other sites.

NZ Transport Agency Waikato Transport System Manager, Karen Boyt, says the work to replace the deck is progressing well but people using the Desert Road should continue to check before they travel.

“Drivers can call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS to check on road conditions before they travel.

”We understand the inconvenience this 36-hour closure and the maintenance work may cause and we’d like to apologise in advance for any disruptions, however this is important work that needs to be completed.”

High productivity motor vehicles can use the SH3 and SH3A route between Hamilton and Bulls.

Vehicles with over-weight loads or over-dimension loads wider than 3.0 metres are unable to use the Desert Road section of SH1 until the bridge repairs are complete in April.