Kaimai Range closures rolling in to keep big wheels turning

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 2, 2024

Regular closures of State Highway 29 Kaimai Range over coming months will ensure essential maintenance can be done in a safe and efficient manner, says Waka Kotahi.

Previously, Waka Kotahi implemented single-direction closures to allow traffic to flow, primarily based on freight industry movements to and from the Port of Tauranga.

However, following engagement with the Port, freight operators and emergency service providers, the transport agency has confirmed that a series of full road closures will be utilised to deliver maintenance in a more effective manner.

“SH29 is a critical route, providing the key link between the country’s largest port and the Golden Triangle,” said Roger Brady, NZTA’s acting regional manager maintenance and operations.

“Around 14,000 vehicles use this road every day, including several thousand heavy vehicles. It is critical that we are able to maintain SH29 to ensure the route is safe and accessible for all road users.

“We’ve collaborated with freight operators and roading contractors to confirm days and times that work best for everybody. By locking in a schedule, regular road users, including freight operators, can make plans in advance to minimise the disruption to themselves and their customers,” he said.

The detours for this closure are significant and will add considerable time to journeys. People are encouraged to check the NZTA Journey Planner and allow extra time for their journey, or if possible, delay travel over SH29 on these nights.

“This is a new way of working for preventative maintenance and road renewals across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region. If successful we will look to use this approach in other areas across our network,” said Brady.

“We’d like to thank our stakeholders and partners for working with us on this. While disruptive in the short term, everyone will enjoy the benefits of having a more reliable and safer route over the Kaimai Range.”

The timetable of works below is current as at the time of printing. Closures may be rescheduled in the event of bad weather.



Month Dates Time
February Sunday 25 – Thursday 29 (5 nights) 8pm – 4:30am
March Sunday 17 – Thursday 21 (5 nights) 8pm – 3:30am
May Sunday 19 – Wednesday 22 (4 nights) 8pm – 3:30am
July Sunday 14 – Wednesday 17 (4 nights) 8pm – 3:30am


Alternative routes:

South: all vehicles: SH28, SH5, SH30, SH33, SH2 via Rotorua

South: light vehicles: SH28, SH5, SH36 via Rotorua

North: SH24, SH27, SH26, SH2 via Karangahake Gorge