South Island highways likely to remain closed

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 08, 2021 |

Photo: Chris Lynch

Key alpine highways in the South Island could remain closed into the afternoon.

The Porters Pass / Arthur’s Pass SH73 route linking Canterbury and the West Coast and the Lewis Pass route, SH7, will be reviewed at lunchtime today.

However, both routes may remain closed into the afternoon given the need to tow a large caravan out of the way on Porters Pass to re-establish two lanes of traffic.

Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for Waka Kotahi said both routes have been closed due to snow and ice since yesterday.

“Crews are working hard to clear the areas most affected by snow like Porters Pass and allow people to get out of Arthur’s Pass village and other spots along the route.”

Hanmer Springs. Photo: hdc

“There will be ice on highways in coming days also so people need to drive prepared on shaded places and bridge decks.” (See advice below)

New closure this morning – Lake Pukaki to Burkes Pass

SH8 between Lake Pukaki past Lake Tekapo to Burkes Pass closed again this morning. Check this link for changes:

 North of Christchurch

SH1 north of Christchurch is fully open and restored to two lanes after jack-knifed trucks on the Hundalees caused significant delays yesterday afternoon into the evening for other truck drivers and many people in cars.

“Given the route was the sole remaining highway north of Christchurch still open in the snow, it was officially kept open on Sunday despite the considerable hold-ups.”

“We will be having a full debrief on how this highway was managed given that many people queued in the cold, hopeful of getting through.” The highway was fully cleared late last night.

Dunedin highway open again

SH1 north of Dunedin/Pine Hill to Waitati is now open after an earlier closure this morning. People need to drive to the winter driving conditions, be ready for short delays and icy patches with crews will be grading and gritting as required.

The same advice applies for a number of other highways like SH87 Outram to Kyeburn inland Otago.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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