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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

State Highway 1B east of Hamilton is temporarily closed at the southern end of Telephone Road with detours in place to prevent ongoing damage to the level crossing.

A section of railway line was dislodged last week (see photo attached) and the level crossing needs to be closed in order to maintain the safety of trains on the track, Waka Kotahi System Manager Waikato Cara Lauder says. 

“This is the third time in three years tracks have been damaged at this location and while this repair was relatively quick, we need to close the level crossing while we investigate options to prevent this happening again,” Ms Lauder says, adding that an update on reopening is expected next week. 

It is believed the damage is being caused by the Holland Road/Telephone Road intersection being lower than the level crossing, causing trucks to scrape over the crossing and dislodge the rail track. 

“While we appreciate this temporary closure is inconvenient for local residents and through traffic we have to take the safety first approach. It’s simply too risky to continue to allow traffic to use the level crossing in its current form, as the consequences of further damage to the tracks could include a train derailment,” Ms Lauder says. 

Northbound traffic is being detoured along Holland Road, Waverley Road and Seddon Road, with southbound traffic following the same detour in reverse. 

This detour, which is suitable for all trucks including HPMVs, will add approximately five minutes to a journey along SH1B.