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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Works to install two new culverts on State Highway 6 south of Makarora, will mean delays for road users over the next four weeks, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

The road links Otago to the West Coast via the Haast Pass and no detour route is available.

Maintenance crews need to replace an existing culvert to minimise flooding, says Mark Stewart, Waka Kotahi Maintenance Contract Manager, Central Otago.

Due to the size of the installation, with no alternative road route, completing this project 20 km south of Makarora, requires staged highway closures.

Daytime delay dates

Daytime works are scheduled from Sunday, October 17 to Tuesday, October 19, and again on weekdays from Tuesday, October 26 to Tuesday, November 9, between 8am and 4pm.  During this time, the road will be opened every hour, on the hour, to allow traffic through.

Full night closure for two nights

There will also be a full night closure 9pm to 5am the next day, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 October. Plans are in place to manage emergency services during these times.

Traffic at all other times will be reduced to a single lane and vehicles will be managed with signals.

Mr Stewart recognised the impact of the works but stressed it was unavoidable due to the nature of the work and the narrow location near the lake.

“The existing culvert has been compromised due to land movement.  This means it has shifted and broken and is no longer able to provide a straight path for water coming off the surrounding hills and running into Lake Wanaka.

“Previously this was only a concern during heavy rain storms.  However, floodwater now regularly overtops the road.  Replacing this culvert will reduce flooding in the future and make the road more resilient.” 

Road users are advised of the following:

  • Road works will be in place from Sunday 17 October (see specific dates above).
  • The road will open once every hour, on the hour, to clear waiting traffic between 8am and 4pm during daytime works.
  • The highway will be closed overnight to all traffic, 9pm to 5am the next day, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 October.
  • Over-dimension vehicle drivers and pilot vehicle drivers need to be aware that only a single lane will be available to them.
  • Emergency services have been advised and plans are in place to ensure support is available throughout this work.

The works will be carried out by Aspiring Highways, on behalf of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Looking up SH6 towards Makarora – flooding visible over the highway.

Looking back towards Hāwea.

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