INDEPENDENT NEWS

Snow and ice over the South Island – stay home if you can

Published: Wed 12 Jul 2017 09:16 AM
12 July 2017 | SOUTHERN REGION
Snow and ice over the South Island – stay home if you can
The NZ Transport Agency is advising all South Island road travellers to check their Traffic and Travel website and the map showing area warnings and highway closures for highway updates before heading off this morning. “If you are able to, postpone your journey,” says Lee Wright, Transport Agency Journey Manager. “In many places snow is lying on top of ice making driving extremely dangerous.”
State Highway 1 into Dunedin, the Northern Motorway, Waitati to Pine Hill, is closed with a layer of snow over ice.
Highways are being reassessed throughout the day and will be updated around11 am.
Passes
The alpine passes to the West Coast were both closed near midnight last night at Porters Pass (SH73) and through the Lewis Pass (SH7), Hanmer Springs turnoff to Springs Junction.
The Haast Pass (SH6) was closed after 6 pm last night and remains closed this morning.
The Lindis Pass (SH8) Omarama to Tarras is closed.
Burkes Pass, Fairlie to Tekapo (SH8) is open but chains are essential and no towing vehicles.
Southland picture
The Transport Agency’s Maintenance Contract Manager in Southland Josh Webb says the highway crews snow-ploughed through the night on SH6 Jollies Hill (Five Rivers to Garston highway) and SH94 Gorge Hill (between Mossburn and Te Anau), where it has not stopped snowing since yesterday as Southland whited out overnight.
“Crews have concentrated on keeping State Highway 1 connecting Invercargill north open and we closed SH93 Mataura to Clinton around midnight with a manned checkpoint.”
Kaikoura – inland road closed due to ice and snow
The inland road into Kaikoura via Waiau was closed earlier today due to snow and ice. People can get to Kaikoura via State Highway 1, via Cheviot and the Hundalees thismorning. (Normally this route is closed Tuesday to Thursday for road works.)
MetService - Road Snowfall Warnings
State Highways: Closures/ recent area warnings
• SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn - Snow and Ice – Road Closed
• SH8 Clarksville To Raes Junction - Ice – Road closed to towing vehicles.
• SH93 Mataura to Clinton – Snow – Road closed
• SH85 Becks to Kyeburn/ Wedderburn – Road closed
• SH6 Garston to Lumsden – Snow – Area warning caution advised
• SH1 Dunedin Northern Motorway Waitati to Pine Hill – Snow - Road Closed
• SH6 Haast to Hawea – Snow - Road closed
• SH73 Springfield to Arthurs Pass – Snow – Road closed
• SH7 Hanmer Springs Turnoff to Springs Junction (Lewis Pass) – Snow – Road closed
• SH73 Arthurs Pass to Otira – Snow – Chains required and towing restrictions apply
• SH8 Burkes Pass, Fairlie to Tekapo – Snow – Caution advised
• SH82 Kurow to Waimate - Ice – Caution winter driving conditions advised
• SH80 Aoraki Mount Cook National Park to Ben Ohau - Snow and Ice - Caution advised
• SH6 Ross to Haast Pass (Ross to Mount Aspiring National Park)- Ice
• SH8 Omarama to Tarras (Lindis Pass) - Snow and Ice – Road Closed
• SH90 Raes Junction to Mcnab - Ice - Caution advised
• SH1 Palmerston to Balclutha - Ice - Caution winter driving conditionsadvised
• SH6 Frankton to Kingston – Ice – Caution advised
• SH6 Kawerau Gorge – Ice – Caution advised
• SH87 Kyeburn to Mosgiel – Ice – Caution advised.
• Crown Range - Snow - Chains MUST be fitted by all vehicles
• SH94 Hollyford to Chasm (Fiordland National Park) – The road is open a towing restriction applies.
How to stay up to date:
• Find safe winter driving tips at www.nzta.govt.nz/winterjourneys
• The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic
• Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here https://www.nzta.govt.nz/contact-us/connect-with-us/
• If you live in Queenstown Lakes District, or travel to and from Queenstown, sign up for QLDC’s winter road reports here.
• Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information either before they’re travelling or when they’re on the road, safely parked off the highway.
• MetService road snowfall warnings here.
• extended weather forecast for all areas of New Zealand this week here.
• MetService severe weather warnings here.
Simple rules for safe winter travelling
•allow extra time
•ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving
•drive to the road and weather conditions
•slow down and be prepared for unexpected hazards
•allow greater following distance between you and the vehicle ahead
•make sure your cell phone is well charged, check car charger also
•have blankets, snacks, bottles of water ready in case of emergency or a breakdown.
ends

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