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Update on Central North Island roads - 4.15pm update

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The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists that the State Highway 5 Napier to Taupo road will remain open overnight but is warning drivers to continue to exercise extra caution due to wintry conditions.

“While we have made the decision that the road will remain open overnight, we strongly advise that people only travel on the route after 5.30pm if absolutely necessary, as we are still expecting cold temperatures on the route overnight,” Wayne Oldfield, Highway Manger, NZ Transport Agency says.

“We advise people to check the latest weather and road updates before they get on the road, and to ensure that they are well prepared for winter road conditions. This means being dressed warmly, having a full tank of fuel, as well as taking food and water. Making sure your cellphone is fully charged is also advised – although be aware that the cellphone coverage is not consistent throughout the route.”

“We will have contractors monitoring the road overnight, and will close the road again if weather conditions make the route unsafe. We know that the road closure of this important regional route was very frustrating and we appreciated people’s patience while the road was closed. The contractors have done a great job in challenging conditions in getting the road into a condition where it could be re-opened to traffic safely,” Mr Oldfield says.

As of 4pm today, other routes in the Central North Island where extra care is still required include:

  • State Highway 1 Desert Road is now open but with winter driving conditions.
  • State Highway 2 Tutira to Wairoa – debris from the weekend’s storm and winter driving conditions.
  • State Highway 2 Otoko to Matawai – ice and winter driving conditions.
  • State Highway 2 Rimutaka Hill Road - winter driving conditions.

In general, road users are advised to continue to take extra care and drive to the conditions. As weather and road conditions can change rapidly we advise people to check the latest weather and road updates before they get on the road.

The Transport Agency’s Winter Journeys website  www.nzta.govt.nz/winter-journeys(external link) brings together tips on winter driving and links to get updates on the latest weather and road conditions. 

Tips for winter driving include dressing for the conditions,  and carrying warm clothes, food and water in case you get stuck or a diversion makes your journey longer than anticipated.

Motorists can get real time information from:

For Central North Island updates

For Wellington and Wairarapa updates

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