Update on Manawatu Gorge 4 August 2017

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 8, 2017

The NZ Transport Agency is working towards a permanent east-west route and over the next few months will be identifying options, assessing feasibility, and consulting with the public before deciding on a final preferred option.

Once the preferred permanent route is agreed upon in December, design, planning and resource consenting will begin. Depending on which option is chosen, the process through to construction is expected to take a minimum of three years.

The closure of the Manawatu Gorge is having an impact on the Woodville and Ashhurst communities and NZTA is working on managing these, recognising that any actions taken will need to continue until a permanent east-west route is in place.


In order to manage traffic through Woodville, steps are being taken to reduce traffic on Oxford Road and Ballance Gorge Road, encourage Saddle Hill drivers to travel via Oxford Road-Woodlands Road to SH 3, and Pahiatua Track drivers to travel via Pahiatua-SH 2.


The current detour to Woodville takes traffic along Cambridge Avenue, Mulgrave Street and Salisbury Street. Maintenance, repairs and safety initiatives are being carrying out and would be continued until a temporary bypass is implemented.

NZTA is looking at the option of taking traffic along Mulgrave Street, past Durham Street, and over a paper road to join up to River Road. While this partial bypass should lessen the impact of traffic volumes in the town, NZTA say traffic will still go through Ashhurst streets.

Saddle Road upgrade

Updates on road closures are posted on the NZTA Central North Island Facebook page, and updates will also be displayed on Variable Message Signs around the routes.

About four days of intensive maintenance work remains on Saddle Road, and this work will be carried out over the next two weeks, weather permitting.

Pahiatua Track

NZTA is monitoring the condition of the Pahiatua Track and will continue to work with local authorities on reinforcing signage about routes. The Pahiatua Track is part of the national cycle network so motorists are reminded to keep an eye out for cyclists and pass safely.