Waimakariri Bluffs rock scaling – timing advice for road users

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 26, 2019

The NZ Transport Agency last week started tree trimming ahead of a significant programme of rock removal using abseilers at Waimakariri Bluffs, the Arthur‘s Pass route between Canterbury and the West Coast.

“Work is underway between 7am and 7pm, weekdays, with State Highway 73 reduced to one lane controlled by Stop/Go traffic management. Drivers are advised to build in extra time on this route to the end of the year,” says NZTA portfolio manager Colin MacKay.

Closures at each end of the one-lane area under the bluffs have so far been largely kept to a maximum of 30 minutes.

However, as the rock scaling activities progress this week, road users are advised that there could be slightly longer closures over the course of the day.

There will be road openings on the hour every hour between the hours of 8am and 5pm weekdays.

“We encourage drivers to be aware of the need to look after themselves and other road users on this highway through the mountains, which offers few safe passing opportunities. Please be patient for everyone‘s safety.”

At weekends, and outside 8am to 5pm weekdays, delays should be under 10 minutes.

Due to the recent fire at Porters Pass, there is an area with ten-minute delays to the west where guardrail is being replaced, says MacKay. “Crews on Porters Pass are working hard to keep delays to a minimum and that repair work should be completed by early October.”

The NZTA asks that drivers slow down and take extra care driving through both sites.