Work to repair the seawall beside State Highway 1 damaged by Cyclone Gita is unlikely to be done by afternoon rush hour, NZTA says.
Commuters heading in and out of Wellington this morning will face delays with about 60m of the seawall on SH1 at Pukerua Bay lost to the sea.
Police said the road between Pukerua Bay and Paekākāriki was closed at about 12.30am, but it has since reopened to one lane and there will be delays.
- Check the latest information in our live blog
- Read what you need to know for the essential information for your region
- And get the full picture with our wrap of the day's events
Do you have a weather story, photos or video to share? Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agency senior journey manager, Neil Walker, said he encouraged people to avoid the area.
"Crews are currently working to clear the debris away before installing large rocks to reinstate a barrier between the sea and the highway."
"Temporary concrete barriers will then be installed and once the road is cleared we can re-open the northbound lane. Stop/ Go can then be removed."
The footpath and cycleway were closed, Mr Walker said.
"The next high tide will hit at 2pm this afternoon and we are concerned that heavy seas could potentially cause further damage.
"Crew are working as quickly as possible, but high tide could cause delays to repairs and make it difficult to work safely."
Mr Walker told Morning Report there was a detour available for light vehicles over the Paekākāriki Hill Road, but it adds about 30 minutes to travel time.
PAEKAKARIKI TO PUKERUA BAY - SEAWALL DAMAGE— NZTA Wellington (@NZTAWgtn) February 20, 2018
The following image supplied by contractors shows seawall damage that has occurred. Contractors are assessing the situation to find out what repairs are needed before the road can be fully reopened. ^IF pic.twitter.com/bGFgZJSOff
He said SH1 north of Kaikōura was likely to remain closed for the rest of the day with debris from the sea strewn across the road.
People travelling between Picton and Christchurch could still use the alternative Lewis Pass route.
Other road closures
For the most up to date information about road closures check out the Transport Agency's website
- Takaka Hill road closed in three places, cutting off Takaka and Collingwood.
- SH1 north and south of Kaikōura closed.
- Sections of SH3, Urenui to Waitara, are closed for tree removal.
- Sections of SH54, Cheltenham to Hunterville, are closed due to strong winds.
- The West Coast side of Arthurs Pass between Jacksons and Kumara.
- Maikoura was cut off by slips North and South of the town on SH1 while the alternative Route 70 will be assessed this morning.