Waimakariri Bluffs (SH73) morning delays this Thursday and Friday

1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 27, 2020

The NZ Transport Agency advises all motorists who travel between the West Coast and Canterbury via SH73 (the Arthur‘s Pass route) to be prepared for delays this Thursday 28 and Friday 29 May.

The final phase of a major rock removal and anchoring safety project is coming to an end with a number of lifts of material via helicopter at Waimakariri Bluffs, east of Arthur‘s Pass. (See map below.)

State Highway 73 will need to be completely closed at the Bluffs while the helicopter is lifting materials over the highway between 7.30am and 11am each day.

The longest drivers will be held up is around 30 minutes and crews will do their best to avoid any build-up of traffic, says NZTA portfolio manager Colin MacKay. “They may be able to do most of this work between 9am and 10am, however it is weather and in particular wind-dependent, so they need some flexibility.”

This project began last September and has involved scaling or removing loose rock from close to a kilometre of rocky bluffs adjoining the highway and the Waimakariri River, blasting some rocks, securing rock anchors and attaching safety netting over rocky faces.

Abseilers attaching rock safety netting above SH73 east of Arthur‘s Pass

Electronic message boards will advise drivers of the delays at Springfield, Yaldhurst, Kumara Junction, Arthur‘s Pass and Otira this week.