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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is warning drivers on the East Coast and Bay of Plenty to be aware of slips and washouts on the state highway network.

“We have had a substantial amount of rain and expect more this week and the East Coast / Bay of Plenty state highway network has been hit hard by the recent severe weather with slips, drop outs and flooding in a number of locations. With more wet weather forecast, crews are actively monitoring the network to ensure the safety of all road users,” says Rob Campbell, Regional Manager for Maintenance and Operations.

“While there is a new site near the Motu River bridge on SH35, there are also existing sites around the East Coast impacted by the weather events earlier in the year where traffic management and construction crews remain in place, for example Kopuaroa (north of Te Puia Springs).

“We encourage everyone to take extra care when driving, watch for hazards, adjust their speed and check our Journey Planner(external link) map before heading off so they know which routes are affected,” says Mr Campbell.

Waka Kotahi thanks everyone for their patience and will provide further updates as works progress at each site.

State Highway 35 between Ōpōtiki and Gisborne

  • West of the Motu River bridge, cracking was discovered along the eastbound lane immediately adjacent to the river bank and is reduced to a single lane to keep traffic a safe distance from the river.
  • This route is suitable for light vehicles only. All heavy vehicles including over-weight and over-dimension vehicles are unable to use this route until further notice, with all permits for SH35 between Ōpōtiki and Gisborne suspended.
  • Traffic signals will be in place overnight for stop/go and contractors will be on site monitoring.  If the cracking develops further, the road may need to be closed at short notice.
  • Crews are working to build a groyne of rock in the river upstream of the scour site to protect the highway.

State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Ōpōtiki

  • SH2 will remain reduced to a single lane at the site of an underslip approximately 7km west of Matawai (on the southern approach to the Motu Bridge) between Gisborne and Ōpōtiki
  • The road remains open to all vehicles at this stage although the site is being monitored for further damage.

State Highway 29 at the Kaimai Range summit

  • Traffic is down to one eastbound and one westbound lane and a 50 km/h speed restriction is in place near the Kaimai Range summit where the culvert repair work is being carried out.
  • The restrictions are expected to be in place this week while contractors establish the extent of the culvert dislodgement and blockages.

State Highway 36 between Rotorua and Tauranga

  • Due to an uneven surface and abutment scour on SH36 at the single lane Mangapouri Bridge, a temporary speed limit is in place. This route is not suitable for heavy vehicles and they are advised to use SH33.
  • The road will need a full closure from 10am Thursday 21 July to the afternoon of Friday 22 July. The alternative route will be via SH2 and SH33 through Pāpāmoa and Paengaroa.
  • In the meantime, the contractor will be onsite carrying out drainage works.

Cracks on SH35, west of Motu River Bridge

SH2 underslip, Matawai