Tairāwhiti road users urged to take care ahead of forecast rain


Roading contractors throughout Tairāwhiti will continue to pay close attention to both State Highway 2 and 35, as heavy rainfall is forecast.

Metservice has issued a red warning for Northland, Coromandel, and now Bay of Plenty – spreading towards the top of Tairāwhiti.

Metservice red warning(external link)

“This could unfortunately cause further disruption to the transport network, especially the already-sodden SH35. Contractors will do their best to keep roads open and minimise that impact, however short notice closures may need to take place,” says Waka Kotahi’s acting System Manager for Tairāwhiti, Andre Taylor.

Mr Taylor says as of 5pm Wednesday, the local State Highway network is open, but motorists need to be prepared for delays to travel and the potential for areas to be under temporary speed limits if they get damaged.

“SH35 in particular bore the brunt of ex-cyclone Hale and more rain, even if it’s less intense than previous downpours, could well create more damage.

“I really want to stress to road users that they need to expect the unexpected, including slips and surface flooding if they’re out and about driving.

“Of course our priority will always be the safety of road users and our contractors, which is why we would strongly encourage road users to avoid unnecessary travel if they can. We want to minimise disruption to travel but we will also need to put measures in place, and often at short notice, if there’s debris, flooding or slips on sections of the network.

“If you’re driving in the forecast heavy rainfall, please drive to the conditions, which means keeping a safe following distance, dropping your speed and watching for flooding and other debris on the road.  Please be prepared to travel through areas at lower speeds, with stop/go controls in place,” says Mr Taylor.

Waka Kotahi is providing regular updates to the public as the severe weather continues to affect Aotearoa this week. Our Journey Planner page is updated by our traffic operations centres 24/7 to provide the latest available information on state highway closures and disruptions.  Remember to refresh the page when checking the status of highways to ensure the latest updates are displayed.

Journey Planner(external link)