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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

State Highway 4 between Upokongaro and Raetihi will close for essential roadworks next Tuesday (4 July) and Wednesday (5 July).

Closures will take place each day between 8:30am and 4pm to allow contractors to install a temporary culvert at a site north of Hawken Road where the road is down to one lane due to a washout.

A design is now in place for a permanent fix to that section of the road, which will see it widened back to two lanes. 

During next week’s road closures, a temporary culvert will be installed and shoulder widening, allowing for work to begin restoring two lanes to the road.

Waka Kotahi Manawatū/Whanganui and Taranaki System Manager Rob Service says closing the road for a two day period means work can be done faster and more safely.

“Our contractors will be doing this work next week because data shows there’s less traffic through that stretch of road on a Tuesday and a Wednesday. We’re also confident the impact on schools and families can be further minimised by working during the school holidays,” says Mr Service.

“SH4 is a crucial link for communities between Whanganui and Raetihi, and is a major freight connection through the central North Island.

“There will be access for residents during next week’s works between Whanganui River Rd and Hawken Rd, and between Burrell Rd and Alexandra Rd. Due to the nature of the works between Hawken and Burrell Roads there will be no access through this section – access for emergency services will remain.”

In this instance, SH1 is the alternative route.

“Once the temporary culvert has been installed, work begins to restore two lanes to that section of road. This work will take longer but can continue with temporary traffic management in place.

“While next week’s closures are in place, we will also complete several other important works including dangerous tree removal, inspections of bridges and other structures and general maintenance including drainage, signage, and patching works on the centreline,” says Mr Service.

“Other safety work will be carried out, including motorcycle safety improvements, on existing guardrails and the installation of new speed advisory signage and indicator signage at curves in the road; installation of guardrail and advisory signage at several sites along the route.

“We want to thank all road users for their support and understanding during this time as we continue to work to strengthen the long term resilience of this stretch of road.”

These works are weather dependent and may be postponed at short notice.