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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising drivers that night time work to install permanent rockfall protection on SH1 between Peketa

and the Parititahi Tunnels south of Kaikōura has been extended to late December, with some changes to the road open/close timetable(external link).

Critical safety work in the rockfall-prone area has been underway since July 2020. Work includes installing mesh fencing, a barrier and a six-metre high canopy to redirect falling rock away from the road. The canopy is the first of its kind to be installed in the Southern Hemisphere.

While work is progressing well, works have been extended following unexpected delays in the supply of some construction materials due to COVID-19, increased requirements for milling and rock removal, and a number of high wind events where it was unsafe to work.

To complete the canopy work as quickly as possible, a new night closure timetable will be effective from Sunday 18 October so construction crews have longer periods to complete remaining work, which includes installing anchors into the rock face, craning in the canopy beams, and draping and connecting protective rockfall mesh.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Owner Interface Manager Colin Knaggs says that slightly longer closures are needed to operate effectively.

“The exposed corner poses a challenging environment for our construction crew, and we are managing the safety of our people working on the rock face while balancing the needs of road users. 

“Waka Kotahi would like to extend our thanks to the local community, freight users and travelling public for their on-going patience during this project.”

Periods of closures on this section of State Highway 1 are required in this very narrow section of coastal road as large machinery and construction materials extend across both lanes during the work.

The closures will continue to be in place five nights a week (Sunday – Thursday) between 8.30pm and 6.30am with set opening times throughout the night to clear traffic (see table below).

Detours for night closures: Light vehicles via Waiau, heavy vehicles via Lewis Pass

  • If people need to travel during the closure times and don’t want to time their travel for the set opening times, the Inland Road via Waiau (Route 70) is open 24/7 and would be the detour for light vehicles. 
  • The alternative route for heavy vehicles between Picton/Blenheim and Waipara would be via SH7, SH65, SH6 and SH63. This route is open 24/7 and takes about 6.5 hours to travel. 

Upcoming Daytime closures (November)

In November helicopter operations will be underway during the day which will require 30 minute daytime stop/stop closures.  More details will be provided closer to the time.

Please allow at least 5.5 hours for travel between Picton and Christchurch on SH1.

For more details and to check for real-time journey information and updates please visit

www.nzta.govt.nz/p2c(external link)

SH1 south of Kaikoura –new timetable night closures from Sunday 18 October, (Sunday-Thursday)

TIME

ROAD STATUS

8:30pm— 11:30pm

ROAD CLOSED

11:30pm

ROAD OPEN to clear queued traffic only. Traffic MUST be in the queue by 11:30pm to be let through. 

11:30pm – 3:00am

ROAD CLOSED

3:00am – 4:00am

ROAD OPEN

4:00am – 6:30am

ROAD CLOSED

6:30am – 8:30pm

ROAD OPEN

(NB. open 6.00am Mondays)

NOTE: Road OPEN is still under one lane with stop/go operation in place.

Abseilers working south of Kaikōura:  https://youtu.be/3PrgRW9YEfA(external link)

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