While most of the trees and rock material will be gone on Wednesday, given an overnight rain forecast NZTA says it won’t open the highway until later Thursday morning or around lunchtime.
After four days of closures and clean-ups, the Transport Agency is aiming to reopen SH6 between Glenhope and Murchison by lunchtime on Thursday.
Part of SH6 in Tasman District was closed late Sunday when torrential rain brought down slips and damaged guardrails in a number of places, bringing with them trees and huge rocks from the surrounding Kahurangi National Park.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency road crews have made good progress clearing the slip-covered highway, 90km south of Nelson, removing three to four-metre diameter rocks this week.
Transport Agency system manager Andrew James said some rocks had to be blasted to reduce their size so they could be safely removed, which made it necessary to close the road while this work took place.
Patience during this time was appreciated, he said.
“Some culverts need to be cleared before the reopening tomorrow, but most of the trees and rock material will be gone today. However, given the rain forecast for overnight Wednesday night, we won’t open the highway until later Thursday morning or around lunchtime.”
A detour remained in place on Wednesday evening through St Arnaud, SH63 and Kikiwa Korere-Tophouse Road. It is suitable for all vehicles including heavy vehicles.
Once open, SH6 through Glenhope will have traffic management and single lane traffic temporarily as well as a reduced speed limit in places where there has been damage.
The agency recommended people factor in some extra time for this journey and take care around the highway repair teams and traffic managers.
Updates on an exact time for reopening can be found here.