West Coast and Top of the South storm update 5.45 pm


The heavy rain has had the final hand on some key routes remaining open or closed overnight on the West Coast and Top of the South this afternoon, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

North of Westport

SH67 at Mokihinui north of Westport closed again late this afternoon after it reopened earlier.

The next update for SH67 is 10 am tomorrow (Saturday) as it will be for some other routes closed overnight tonight, says Colin Hey, Senior Network Manager for Waka Kotahi. 

Greymouth and south to Haast, SH6 and SH7

The entrance to Greymouth at Dobson, SH7, had surface flooding this afternoon, requiring a detour to Taylorville on the other side of the Grey River.

Greymouth south to Franz Josef, is largely clear bar some surface flooding.

Good progress on the Fox Hills between the two glacier towns meant the highway would reopen there at 6 pm tonight, reconnecting Fox township to the northern West Coast.

However a slip at Karangarua and other slips still being removed means the rest of SH6 south of Fox Glacier township will remain closed with a review at 10 am tomorrow (Saturday).

Contractors hard at work for Waka Kotahi’s Fulton Hogan team on SH6 clearing up a slip near Lake Moeraki, South Westland, earlier today. (Photo courtesy Gerry McSweeney, Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge).

The long weekend on the West Coast

“Road crews have been working hard this week so we will scale back this weekend to give them a rest. Essential clearance work and patrolling will continue combined with traffic management in areas which may be down to a single lane. Major road reinstatement will not start till after the long weekend,” says Mr Hey.

Tasman/ Nelson/ Marlborough

Rain picked up over the Top of the South this afternoon so SH6 through the Whangamoas, between Hira and Rai Valley, will remain closed overnight. This will be reviewed at 10 am Saturday. Overall good progress was made clearing slips and culverts.

The Wairau Valley and St Arnaud, via SH63, is the alternate route between Blenheim and Nelson, says Andrew James, System Manager, Top of the South for Waka Kotahi.

Other parts of Tasman like the Tākaka Hill route, SH60, are open.

People are encouraged to avoid the Marlborough Sounds local roads if possible over the long weekend, says Mr James. “These roads are still in a fragile state from the last storm and there is potential for further disruption.”

Kenepuru Road remains closed from that earlier storm.

Thanks for taking care

Waka Kotahi thanks all road users for being cautious and checking routes before heading off – building in extra time and being aware small slips can occur anywhere after this much rain.

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