State Highway 6 between West Coast and Otago reopening midday, Te Anau to Milford Sound Piopiotahi staying closed


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency plans to reopen a key link between the West Coast and Otago at midday today.

State Highway 6 which runs along the West Coast was closed late yesterday morning at Burke Flat, between Haast in South Westland and Makarora in Otago. Torrential rain triggered a substantial slip covering both lanes of the road.

The slip continued to move yesterday and overnight and the clean-up is underway this morning, says Moira Whinham, Maintenance Contract Manager for Waka Kotahi on the West Coast.

“Drivers should expect delays as the crew works to fully re-open two lanes and also watch out for high winds which are not abating at this stage,” she says.

The West Coast experienced heavy rain and blustery winds overnight with some small slips and trees knocked down, mainly SH73 the Arthur’s Pass route to Canterbury. Crews are cleaning any minor slips up this morning and drivers are urged to take care.

More rain, snow on Arthur’s Pass

More rain is forecast for today and tomorrow on the West Coast and the highway passes with a snow showers warning for Arthur’s Pass (SH73) today from MetService which runs through to Wednesday morning. (6–10 cm of snow may accumulate on the road near the summit, smaller amounts to 600 metres.)

Traffic updates on SH6(external link)

Rainfall figures from earlier today:

Location Rainfall 24 Hours mm Rainfall 6 day mm Source
Mokihinui 92 115 WCRC
Westport 10 28 Metconnect
Lewis Pass 40 84 Metconnect
Arthurs Pass 120 160 MetConnect
Paparoa Sirdar Ck 116 177.5 WCRC
Hokitika 15 31 Metconnect
Hokitika Gorge 96 179.5 WCRC
Whataroa 118.5 216 WCRC
Franz Josef 138 272 Metconnect
Haast at Roaring Billy 161.5 329.5 WCRC

Te Anau to Milford Sound Piopiotahi highway remaining closed today

In Southland, the Te Anau to Milford Sound Piopiotahi road, SH94, remains closed due to snow and a heightened avalanche risk.

Traffic update information(external link)

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