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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will be closing a 30 km stretch of SH6 south of Nelson for up to two weeks from Monday, 5 October to just before Saturday, 17 October (Election day). The highway will be reopened by Election Day.

Unfortunately, this closure will involve a detour double the length of highway closed. There are no alternative routes.  SH6 drivers and residents along the closed section of highway, north of Glenhope, will need to build in time for the additional kms while the work is underway. The detour route is 62 km and is approved for HPMV/ 50MAX vehicles (high productivity motor vehicles/ large trucks and trailers).

School holidays travellers – be aware

This highway project starts in the second week of the upcoming school holidays, so drivers travelling between Nelson and Canterbury or the West Coast/Buller, will need to bear it in mind.

  • There are also delays on SH1 south of Kaikōura, as the post-quake repair works continue into December. People are asked to build in extra time for their trips along SH1 right through to the end of the year.

The SH6 closure will start south of Motupiko and go through to Kawatiri Junction (SH63, the St Arnaud road intersection). Within this area there will be a further closure point closer to the work site for residents north of Glenhope who need to get to and from home.

“Waka Kotahi’s Tasman Journeys highways maintenance team needs to upgrade two culvert pipes badly damaged in the Glenhope storm in November last year,” says Andrew James, System Manager Waka Kotahi, for Nelson and Marlborough. (See photos below from last November)

As well as the large culvert replacements and inlet structure work, guardrail has to be replaced, and road maintenance activities such as shoulder widening, pavement repairs, water channel clearing and cleaning of signs and marker posts will be undertaken along the highway to ensure the route is safe for summer traffic.

State Highway 6 will be closed fully 24/7 for through traffic between Lamb Valley Road and Kawatiri Junction for up to a fortnight. Although work will be underway daytimes only, the highway will not be safely passable at night at the culvert sites outside those times.

Emergency services will also need to take the detour route.

This work is weather dependent so wet weather may delay progress.

The damage caused in last year’s sudden storm

Map showing detour route south of Motupiko. Red arrow shows the location of the work at Glenhope. Green line, detour route via St Arnaud in both directions.

Southbound traffic detour route, heading away from Nelson:

  • SH6 Kohatu-Kawatiri Highway at the end of the Korere straight turn left onto Korere-Tophouse Road. 
  • At the Y-intersection at Kikiwa continue right on Korere Tophouse Road. 
  • Turn right onto SH63 Wairau Valley Highway, continue on SH63 St Arnaud-Kawatiri Highway (it changes name at St Arnaud township). 
  • Turn left at Kawatiri Junction onto SH6 Kawatiri-Murchison Highway.

Northbound traffic detour route, heading towards Nelson:

  • Turn right off SH6 Kawatiri-Murchison Highway at Kawatiri Junction onto SH63 St Arnaud-Kawatiri Highway, continue on SH63 Wairau Valley Highway (it changes name at St Arnaud township). 
  • Turn left onto Korere-Tophouse Road.
  • At the Y-intersection at Kikiwa, take the left arm and continue on Korere-Tophouse Road.
  • Turn right onto SH6 Kohatu-Kawatiri Highway at the end of the Korere straight.

This detour route will be well marked at each intersection so people will get back onto SH6 as intended.

Waka Kotahi thanks all drivers for taking care on the detour route via Kikiwa and St Arnaud and slowing in areas that are not normally carrying so much traffic. “We appreciate that this detour will be inconvenient for daily drivers in this area and residents,” says Mr James. “Thanks for your patience while we get this work done ahead of summer.” 

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