State Highway 1 reopens, 500 tonnes of rubble removed

HARD WORK: Crews abseiled down to remove loose rocks. PHOTO: NZTA.

After the removal of 500 tonnes of material and boulders, State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura reopened on Tuesday morning.

Bad weather has seen more slips on the road since the November 14 earthquake, with the latest closing the road between Peketa and Goose Bay for eight days.

NZ Transport Agency earthquake recovery manager Steve Mutton said it took about 100 people, including 40 abseilers, to get the material removed.

“Excavators, loaders and six wheel trucks have been used along with traffic management teams. Tunnel crews have also taken advantage of the road closure to carry out important works in and out of the tunnels,” he said.

The road will close again Tuesday at 6pm, however people with urgent travel needs will be escorted through until 8pm Tuesday only, he said.

The normal winter opening hours will be 7am to 6pm.

Outside these times, drivers need to use the inland road through Waiau.

Mr Mutton said during the controlled closure, a large boulder came down and crumpled a container, highlighting the need to have the road closed.

 

“With approximately 5000 tonnes of material and boulders removed, some high risk sites are now much safer, although this does not rule out future closures as we know some areas will still be prone to slips.”

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