Tāngarākau Gorge road closures remain in place as sealing programme progresses


Crews working to seal Tāngarākau Gorge on the Forgotten World Highway will be onsite until mid-May – six weeks longer than initially expected.

The project will ultimately see the unsealed 12 kilometre section of State Highway 43 Forgotten World Highway chip-sealed, making the road safer and more accessible for locals and visitors wanting to experience the iconic back country journey.

So far almost six kilometres of the gorge have been sealed. Since October last year, crews working on the sealing project through the gorge have:

  • completed drainage and pavement works
  • sealed almost 4 kilometres of the gorge, 2km was sealed during the summer of 2021/2022
  • completed a large retaining wall in the gorge and started work on a second retaining wall.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Project Manager Sree Nutulapati says daytime closures will remain in place until mid-May so crews can continue retaining wall works.

“The road closures will be in place through the gorge Monday to Friday between 9am and midday and 1pm and 3pm. The road will be open at midday so people can travel through, and at all other times outside the closures.

Stop/go traffic control will be in place Monday to Friday 7am-8.30am and 3.30pm-7pm with delays up to 15 minutes.

“Wet weather and consenting delays have slowed our progress somewhat which is why we need to extend the road closures. We know these closures are disruptive. However, completing these works this season will improve the road’s resilience to winter weather and reduce the risk of future damage and delay.”

Crews will not be working over Easter and the road will be open.

The project is expected to be complete next summer, providing a more resilient and safer connection between Taumarunui and Stratford.

When the road closures are in place, any through traffic will be stopped at the intersections of Moki Road and Heao Road so people can turn around before they reach the road closure.  

Emergency services and residents will be allowed through the road closure when required.