The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists and East Coast residents that State Highway 35 is closed at Kopuaroa between Tokomaru Bay and Ruatoria after the approaches for the bailey bridge were washed out.
NZTA Principal Asset Manager Gordon Hart says heavy rainfall overnight has caused the foundations for the existing bailey bridge to wash away and make the bridge unstable. A bailey bridge is in place while the NZTA construct a replacement Kopuaroa Bridge.
"We have rushed contractors to the scene and they are assessing the situation but early indications are that the road will be closed until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest."
"Unfortunately there are no detours available, and we appreciate this is very frustrating for all the locals, farmers, truckies and tourists who rely on this vital lifeline."
Mr Hart said the people of the East Coast have experienced similar closures in the past, and the NZTA was determined to restore access as soon as possible.
"We appreciate the importance of keeping the communities of the East Coast connected and we will be doing everything we can to get this road open as soon as we can."
"These closures are a huge disruption to people and we thank Coasties for hanging in there while we get this fixed."
Updates on the road closure can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link).
For more information contact
Media Manager - Central
NZ Transport Agency
T 04 894 5251
M 027 213 7617