21 Feb 2018

Commuters asked to avoid SH1 north of Wellington

10:37 am on 21 February 2018

Work to repair the seawall beside State Highway 1 damaged by Cyclone Gita is unlikely to be done by afternoon rush hour, NZTA says.

The seawall on State Highway 1 north of Pukerua Bay has been washed out by Gita.

The seawall on State Highway 1 north of Pukerua Bay has been washed out by Gita. Photo: Twitter / @NZTAWgtn

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.

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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.

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.

State Highway 1 is closed between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki after sustaining damage. Waves washed over both lanes overnight.

State Highway 1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekākāriki has been damaged with waves washing over both lanes overnight. Photo: NZ Police

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.

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