27 Jun 2012

Main highway passes over southern alps open

9:35 pm on 27 June 2012

All the main highway passes over the Southern Alps to the West Coast are open again, after being closed by snow.

The Transport Agency says contractors have worked hard to reopen the passes.

However, State Highway 73 is closed to towing vehicles on the Arthur's Pass and Porter's Pass sections, and chains are essential from Arthur's Pass to Otira.

State Highway 94 from Cascade Bridge to Milford Sound is closed by snow, while State Highway 87 from Outram to Kyeburn is closed by ice.

Around Gore the Transport Agency is warning of snow and high winds, and around Milton high winds.

In the North Island snow has shut the Taihape to Napier road from the Kuripapango Bridge through to Taihape overnight Wednesday.

Up to four centimetres of snow is also forecast along the Desert Road for Wednesday evening.