The NZ Transport Agency says it is on track to re-open a section of State Highway 1 near Kawakawa in Northland by the end of the week.
'Ultimately it will depend on the good weather holding, but our contractors are making great progress constructing a detour past the underslip that forced us to close the highway,' says the Transport Agency’s Regional Journey Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.
The underslip during last weekend’s storm affects a 70 metre-long section of the highway and has left part of the highway hanging over an 8 to 10 metre drop into the valley below at Maromaku.
'I know this closure is having a huge impact on people and freight in Northland, and the Transport Agency is determined to have this temporary by-pass built and open as soon as possible.
'We’re asking our contractors to work night and day, and they are well advanced constructing the 100 metre-long by-pass along the side of the highway furthest from the underslip. We can’t give a precise time yet when we’ll have SH1 re-opened. There’s s till a lot of work to be done to complete the detour and the Transport Agency will need to be sure this section of highway is safe for people before we let traffic through,' Ms Hori-Hoult says.
While work continues at Maromaku, the alternative route for all traffic, including trucks, is SH12 through Dargaville and Kaikohe. The detour is available either from SH1/12 junction at the Brynderwyn Hills or from SH14 at Whangarei. It will add about 2 hours to a journey.
Ms Hori-Hoult says all drivers need to take care and observe temporary speed limits at Kaihu, 30kms north of Dargaville, where a washout has reduced the highway to one lane.
For more information please contact:
Auckland/Northland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
T: 09 928 8720
M: 027 213 7616