Southland and Otago roads exceptionally busy today/into the week - Field Days, Queen, motorcyclists, flood clean up, roading teams


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says people on Southland and Otago roads and across the South Island need to be ready for a slower than usual journey today and into the week. A number of events are bringing people in and out of the two southern regions at the same time, on top of last week’s floods.

Although highways and local roads outside Fiordland have reopened* after the floods and around the Catlins, there is damage in some places, some areas will be single lane with Stop/Go traffic management  and at lower speed limits until repairs are completed.

(For example, SH90, Tapanui to Waikoikoi is down to 30 km/hour; slips are being repaired in several other places).

Motorcyclists departing Southland

Thousands of motorcyclists are heading home from the Burt Munro Rally near Invercargill today and tomorrow, many to the North Island. “We ask everyone to take it carefully on the winding hill roads with limited visibility and stick to your side of the centreline,” says Transport Agency Journey Manager Peter Brown. link)

Southern Field Days near Gore at Waimumu

The Southern Field Days(external link) are on near Gore at Waimumu from 12 -14 February.  Large farm equipment and tractors will be moving on the highways and local roads ahead of the Fields Days and afterwards so road users need to be patient, says Mr Brown.

“Avoid tailgating, take your time and keep the journey stress-free for everyone,” he says. link)

Flood clean-up and roading repairs teams

“On top of the Field Days traffic, groups of people with machinery are helping with the clean-up after last week’s floods across the regions, particularly around Gore and Mataura.

“The Transport Agency and the local councils will all have contractors out in force carrying out damage assessments and urgent repairs on their roading networks, which will make some normally quiet backroads much busier,” says Mr Brown.

“People should expect to see more traffic at cross-road intersections – be ready for that. If you need to be somewhere on time, leave in plenty of time so you are not taking any risks or getting stressed.” 

Big concert in Dunedin

As well as the Field Days event, motorcyclists and the farming and roading clean-up teams, there is a Queen/ Adam Lambert concert at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Monday, 10 February, so highways in and out of Dunedin will be much busier today and after the concert. link) 

*All state highways in the lower South Island area have now re-opened, with the exception of State Highway 94 from Cascade Creek to the Chasm, (Milford Sound Piopiotahi Road), which has suffered extensive damage and will remain closed until further notice.

Check the traffic map for state highway updates(external link)