25 Sep 2023

Crews work to reopen critical road between West coast & Otago

From Checkpoint, 5:16 pm on 25 September 2023

Waka Kotahi is working to partially re-open Haast Pass; a critical road link between the west coast and Otago.

It's been closed since Thursday's storms meaning locals and tourists have to take a nine hour detour to get to Queenstown.

Muddy Creek Bridge on State Highway six north of Makarora has been swamped in a slip, leaving the bridge and road buried in about 20,000 cubic metres of debris.

The slip is piled about four metres high at the bridge and water is flowing over the mound.

The road is vital for tourists and locals and travellers coming from the likes of Haast, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef have an over nine hour trip to Queenstown via Arthurs pass.

Waka Kotahi's hoping to partially reopen it tomorrow - for some vehicles only.

System manager Robert Choveaux speaks to Lisa Owen.