West Coast State highways update after severe weather closed Ōtira Gorge over the weekend


The NZ Transport Agency is aiming to have State Highway 73 linking the West Coast and Canterbury via Arthur’s Pass and the Ōtira Gorge reopened at 7.00 am Tuesday morning, 13 November.

The highway will remain closed today - Monday, 12 November, as storm repair work continues at Yorkey Creek Bridge in particular. Drivers should continue to use the Lewis Pass for West Coast-Canterbury journeys.

State Highway 6 south of Hokitika to Makarora in Otago is open but is one lane in sections with repairs continuing, says Transport Agency System Manager Pete Connors.

“Through the Ōtira Gorge, on State Highway 73, there was more significant damage to bridge approaches at Yorkey and Goat Creek and washouts of parts of the highway between Jacksons and Arthur’s Pass.

“Urgent repairs were underway all weekend as the bad weather lifted to get the highway reopened as soon as is safely possible,” Mr Connors says.

Yorkey Creek bridge had significant work to the western approach completed Sunday with concrete being poured this morning, Mr Connors says. “Work is continuing on the eastern approach so drivers should expect manual traffic management there and short delays of a few minutes for truck movements around this work site.”

From tomorrow, three sites on SH73 through the Ōtira Gorge are likely be one lane for a number of months and over the Christmas/ New Year holiday period due to the complexity of final repairs at these sites, Mr Connors says.

“We advise all drivers to build in extra time on both SH6 south of Hokitika and on the Ōtira Gorge SH73 routes until these sections of highway are fully reinstated and back to two lanes of traffic.”

Goat Creek bridge access, SH73, Ōtira Gorge, reinstated Sunday

Goat Creek bridge access, SH73, Ōtira Gorge, reinstated Sunday.


Access being restored at Yorkey Creek Bridge, Ōtira Gorge

Access being restored at Yorkey Creek Bridge, Ōtira Gorge.


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