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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Northland’s state highway network, with the exception of SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge, is open this morning but motorists are advised to take care and drive to the conditions which could change quickly.

The network is expected to be busy on the last day of school holidays and Metservice’s forecast is for more rain with heavy showers at times. There will be thunderstorms with small hail and localised downpours possible until evening.

“Motorists are advised to check the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency travel information website(external link)  for latest updates because the situation could rapidly change with rivers already high and the ground saturated after days of exceptionally heavy rain. Plan your journey before setting off, take your time and allow extra time,” says Waka Kotahi Northland System Manager, Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

“Drive to the conditions, keep your speed down and watch out for unexpected road hazards like potholes where flood waters have receded. More rain could lead to renewed surface flooding in low-lying areas and slips. Heavy rain can also reduce visibility.”

Though the roads are open, Waka Kotahi urges caution, especially where there is still water across the road at Taumarere on SH11 Paihia to Kawakawa and at Moerewa on SH1. The Taheke Bridge on SH12 is now open to one lane of traffic.

Last night SH1 through the Loop Road roundabout construction site reopened to two lanes of traffic after a 30 metre section of the road had been washed out. Road crews will be fixing potholes today with traffic manged to minimise delays.

In the Far North, there are at least seven slips through the Mangamuka Gorge and it is likely to be closed for several days. SH1 is closed from Makene Road to Victoria Valley Road. The detour route is SH10 and will add 20-30 minutes to most journeys.

In the event of more road closures, motorists are asked to be kind, patient and understanding. Our crews are out on the network making sure it is safe to travel. If they close a road or put up temporary speed limit signs, please follow their instructions and don’t try to drive past closure points.”

“If the road is closed it is for a very good reason. Waka Kotahi wants everyone to get home safely, including our road crews who are working hard to keep everyone safe this weekend,” says Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

One of the slips that has closed SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge in the Far North

Another slip that has closed SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge in the Far North