Flooding and highways closed both sides of South Island – Saturday, 7 December, 2019, 2.00 pm update
Several key highways linking regions of the South Island are today closed due to flooding, slips, and rivers rising,
says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency System Manager Pete Connors.
• The Arthur’s Pass SH73 route between the West Coast and Canterbury is single lane at Candy’s Bend below the
viaduct due to a slip.
The latest section of highway to close late this morning is State Highway 1 between Ashburton and Timaru at the
Rangitata River bridge.
• The inland bridge at Arundel in the Upper Rangitata catchment (Route 72) is also not passable meaning there is
“This highway may not reopen today given the river’s current levels. We advise people to avoid travel in this area.
There is no road link between Ashburton and Timaru currently,” says Mr Connors.
•Timaru District Council Civil Defence updates here and photos: https://www.facebook.com/TimaruDC/
Otira to Arthur’s Pass, SH73 link between Canterbury and the West Coast – single lane
This route is currently down to one lane due to a slip at Candy’s Bend below the viaduct.
South Westland, SH6 south of Hokitika through to Otago side of Haast Pass
Earlier torrential rain overnight and today brought down multiple slips across South Westland, SH6, meaning the highway
is closed from Hokitika south through the Haast Pass to Makarora on the Otago side of the pass.
“Transport Agency crews are working to get access from the north to Harihari and it is hoped to have a four-wheel drive
track and access to milk tankers this evening,” says Mr Connors.
“We expect to have the Haast Pass route from Makarora in Otago through to Fox Glacier open in the next two days.
“However, the highway through the Fox Hills between Franz Josef and Fox Glacier townships and at Mt Hercules between
Harihari and Whataroa is where the most significant damage is. We are currently assessing these areas and trying to get
work crews in, but they are unlikely to be open in the next few days.”
Please check the web map for updates.
Civil Defence details and information for Otago region where the rising water levels in lakes Wakatipu and Wanaka and
the Clutha River are also being closely monitored and actions taken to keep people safe:
•Otago Regional Council has set up a dedicated webpage for this event (www.orc.govt.nz/cluthaflowsdec19
) with links to up-to-date lake levels and flows, elevation maps for affected areas, and further resources.
Otago Civil Defence and Emergency Management: https://www.otagocdem.govt.nz/
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:
• Twitter Canterbury/West Coast: twitter.com/NZTA/CWC
• Twitter Otago/Southland: twitter.com/NZTAOS
• Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)