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Wintery blast eases grip on South Island highways

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The Transport Agency says a number of highways affected by the winter storm that hit the South Island yesterday are now open again.

An improving weather picture plus the hard work of the Transport Agency’s contractors means just a handful of highway remain closed.

The highway closure situation at 2.30pm 19 June 2015:

  • SH73 Arthurs Pass – closed, Springfield to Otira
  • SH8– closed, Fairlie – Lindis Pass
  • SH80 – closed, to Mount Cook
  • SH79 – closed , Geraldine- Fairlie
  • SH7 – open over Lewis Pass, SH7 – West Coast side closed at Stillwater – local road detour in place

Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright says the weather has taken a turn for the better allowing more highway to open. Other will take longer  simply because of the amount of snow on them. Flooding remain a concern on West Coast highways especially those north of Greymouth as the bad weather track further up the country.

Ms Wright says the next big concern with the amount of snow around and cold temperatures, is black ice that could making driver treacherous, particularly on inland highways. Drivers need to keep their speeds down, watch for black ice havens such as bridge decks and areas of road shaded by trees or embankments. We would encourage people if they can, to put off early morning travel, as these are the times when black ice conditions are at their worst.

For the latest on road information freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS 0800 44 44 49 or visit the Transport Agency’s website: www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link)

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