3 Apr 2024

Brynderwyns highway closes after temporarily reopening for Easter

8:11 am on 3 April 2024
Aerial Photo of the closure of Brynderwyn Hill state highway 1

default Photo: Nick Monro

The stretch of motorway linking Auckland to Northland has been closed again, after briefly reopening over the Easter break.

State Highway 1 through the Brynderwyn Hills was damaged in last year's Cyclone Gabrielle, and had been closed for repairs since mid-February.

More than 300 repairs had been carried out to prepare detours ahead of the closure. The combined 11.5km of upgrades cost more than $5.5 million and was funded by councils and central government.

The temporary reopening over Easter was intended to give the Northland economy a boost.

"Northland's had it tough in recent years - this road was closed a number of times last year due to slips," Transport Minister Simeon Brown said last week.

"This is a compromise. I pushed really hard for it to be open over Easter because I know how important getting visitors and tourists to Northland is for that economy."

Local businesses said the plan worked a charm.

The reclosure was to allow repairs to be completed by 13 May.

"My understanding is it's on schedule and on budget," Waka Kotahi / New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) director of regional relationships Steve Mutton said last week.

An alternative route through the area would be needed within the next decade, Brown said.

The work started a couple of weeks behind schedule after businesses complained of the disruption.

"Three scenic detour routes remain available, including SH12/SH14, Paparoa Oakleigh Road and Cove Road," NZTA said on Tuesday, as the route was reclosed.

"Contractor teams are proactively inspecting the routes every day to address any issues and ensure that the roads are as high quality as possible including clear signage and wayfinding."

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