State Highway 1 to the south of Kaikoura is now open to all traffic for daytime travel, restoring direct state highway access to Kaikoura.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says re-establishing access to Kaikoura remained the number one priority. Road crews had been working 12-hour days, seven days a week to get the highway south of Kaikoura reopened in time for the busy holiday period.
“They’ve put in more than 10,000 hours of work over the last month to get to this point, removing more than 50,000 cubic metres of rock and material in more than 7,000 truckloads from 26 slips along the route.
“Earlier this week we reopened the inland Kaikoura road to unrestricted travel, and today’s partial opening of State Highway 1 is another major milestone in the earthquake recovery process.”
For safety reasons travel will be restricted to daytime hours, 6am to 8pm, until all of the slip faces have been stabilised and traffic signals are installed along a 1km coastal section of the route, which remains limited to a single-lane with one-way travel.
The reopening of State Highway 1 south and the inland Kaikoura road follows the Government’s announcement last week to provide up to $2 billion to reinstate the entire state highway coastal route and rail corridor to Kaikoura.
Work is also underway on State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura to allow access for residents and to prepare for the huge job of clearing several massive slips blocking the road.
The NZ Transport Agency is continuing to repair and maintain the alternative State Highway route for vehicles travelling through the Springs Junction and Lewis Pass route while the work to re-instate State Highway 1 progresses.