There’s good news for motorists travelling to and from Northland, with State Highway One over the Brynderwyns set to have both lanes opened to traffic in time for the busy Easter Weekend.
Access over the Brynderwyns, about 45km south of Whangārei, has been restricted since it was closed following several slips caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in early February, following an earlier closure due to storm damage. Since then, SH1 over the hill has been either fully closed or down to one lane as work continues to repair the numerous slips on the road.
At the moment it is only open for northbound traffic, but Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is hoping to reopen both lanes over the hill by the end of the month and keep it open for the expected busy Easter Weekend traffic on Northland’s roads, before closing it again in April for work to continue.
“Our teams have been working hard across Northland after impacts caused by recent weather events. We’ve been making good progress and working alongside Civil Defence Emergency Management, Northland Transport Alliance and the Lifelines groups to ensure critical supply lines are maintained and people can move around safely,” a Waka Kotahi spokesperson said.
“We have seven major sites that require repair [on SH1 over the Brynderwyns]. We have cleared the road surface and installed temporary barriers to allow a single lane of northbound traffic while our teams are working. At any given time, seven teams are working throughout the site.”
Easter will see an increase in vehicles travelling to and from Northland.
“To ensure our local road detours aren’t impacted by high volumes of holiday traffic, both northbound and southbound lanes will open from Friday, March 31, in time for the Easter break,” the spokesperson said.
“Our team will then close the highway later in April so they can address the severe under and over slips. Further details regarding dates and duration for the final works are yet to be confirmed.”
Detour routes around the Brynderwyns at the moment are for southbound traffic only, with light vehicles to use The Braigh, to Cove Rd, to Tara Rd, Kaiwaka Mangawhai Rd, return to SH1 at Kaiwaka. Heavy vehicles: use SH14 from Whangārei and SH12 (via Dargaville) to return to SH1 at Brynderwyn.
High productivity motor vehicles (HPMV) can access Northland in both directions, northbound via SH1 Brynderwyn and southbound on SH12 and SH14 via Dargaville.
Elsewhere on Northland’s state highway network, SH12 Dargaville to Brynderwyn is fully open to all traffic; SH14 Dargaville to Whangārei is fully open, although two bridges have temporary speed limits to minimise the effects of extra loading; and SH15 at Titoki is open but reduced to one lane near Tokiri Rd due to an underslip.
Waka Kotahi said drivers need to be patient and drive to the conditions, adhere to the temporary speed limits and be kind to people working to restore our state highways.
The national roading body said this information is subject to change due to weather conditions and urges motorists to check their route before setting of with:
■ Traffic updates: journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic
■ Facebook: facebook.com/nztaakl
■ Twitter: twitter.com/WakaKotahiAkNth
■ Journey planner: journeys.nzta.govt.nz
■ Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)