SH1 reopening a significant achievement

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 15, 2017

Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley has congratulated NZTA and the NCTIR alliance ahead of today‘s reopening of State Highway 1 around Kaikoura.

“To open the complete route 13 months after one of the most significant earthquakes this country has had and considering the amount of damage done to the coastline, is a substantial achievement,” says Shirley. “The thousands of people who worked on the project over the last year deserve our industry‘s gratitude.”

Shirley says to move one million cubic metres of material from 1500 damaged sites along 194 kilometres of road in a matter of months is quite a feat, and to do it while dealing with some significant adverse weather events makes it even more remarkable.

“The road‘s reopening is of course good news; however, it is important that operators are mindful of the fragile nature of the route and the frustrations that will inevitably occur along it.”

Two sections will be closed from 8.30pm to 7.00am – north of Kaikoura between Clarence and Mangamaunu, and south of Kaikoura between Goose Bay and Peketa – while there will be other areas that are unsealed or with temporary seal, various lane closures and stop/go signals.

“Advice is that travel in one direction will take a minimum of five-and-a-half hours and significant delays can be expected, therefore operators who are able to may wish to persevere with the inland route in the short term,” says Shirley.