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Good progress Takaka Hill, access update, Easter hours

Takaka Hill, SH60, Riwaka to Golden Bay – Easter update, open hours, repairs going well, dedicated 0800 number and email

Repair work on the Takaka Hill highway, State Highway 60, between Riwaka and Golden Bay has gone well in recent days. “Crews have been making good progress while the weather has been dry, clearing the road and making it safer and more resilient, which will enable truck and trailer units to make the journey soon,” says Frank Porter, NZ Transport Agency System Manager.
“We know that freight providers and farmers need these truck and trailer units to get across the hill efficiently and that the single trucks’ restriction is adding to costs.”

Although there is no confirmed date at this stage for opening up the highway to trucks with trailer units, and over-dimension vehicles, the Transport Agency is hopeful it could be in two weeks’ time.

“Thanks to everyone for being patient while we work to get Takaka Hill repaired and safe for everyone to use again,” says Mr Porter.

Opening hours - same open hours continue this week
Currently the road open hours are Monday to Saturday inclusive, mornings and nights only, 7-8 am and 5-6 pm. People are encouraged to arrive as close to 7 am and 5 pm to reduce their waiting time and get through as quickly as possible.
On Sundays, people can travel by convoy all day 8 am to 5 pm as the crews have a day off repairs.

• People should expect to be part of large convoys and to have to wait to get over the hill.
• People towing caravans, trailers and boats can get over the hill at the end of each day in the last evening convoy in each direction (5-6 pm). On Sundays, they should be at the waiting area from 4 pm.
• Otherwise the restrictions remain in place for rigid trucks only, with no trailers or over-dimension vehicles allowed on Takaka Hill currently.
• The road is not generally suitable for motorcyclists in wet conditions, when it will be very slippery, particularly for those on road touring bikes with standard tyres. Motorcyclists will need to take extreme care.

Extending the open hours – soon
The Transport Agency is aiming to offer extended opening hours in coming days ie earlier in the morning and later in the evenings. This will allow more traffic to travel over the hill, but still allow the same time for crews to repair the road during the day.

The Transport Agency will communicate any changes to people as soon as they are confirmed and the Traffic and Travel page information will also be updated.

Easter opening hours - open each day, all day
• The Takaka Hill road will be open 8am – 5pm all of Easter, Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive.
• The Thursday night (29 March) opening from 5 pm is likely to be extended to later so that people know they can travel to/from Golden Bay for their holiday break without the need to rush.
After Easter hours and access - Tuesday, 3 April onwards
The Transport Agency is aiming to open up the road to be used normally, without convoys, outside of the daytime construction work, ie outside of 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, including overnight. “Repairs will be ongoing for some time and they cannot be undertaken safely or efficiently while there is traffic on the road,” says Mr Porter.

This planned timetable to move beyond the convoy system is dependent on good weather in coming weeks, he says.

Try not to make up time, arrive on time for least delays
Frank Porter reiterated the need for people to take care once they are beyond Takaka Hill and not speed up to make up time. “We have had reports from our crews that some people are not driving to the speed limits once they are over the hill. Please, get home safely, and drive to the conditions.”

Mr Porter also reminded drivers that crews are unable to give priority to some people in the queue over others. “We will work to get everyone waiting over, and our crews are there to get people over as quickly as is safely possible. If it is urgent, arrive on time.”

Traffic and travel pages for convoy information which will be updated when arrangements change: http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/areawarnings/202314

How to stay up to date:

0800 482 525 for Takaka Hill access; email takakahill@nzta.govt.nz

www.facebook.com/nztasouthisland

Tasman District Council’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TasmanDistrictCouncil/
• Transport Agency Twitter page Top of the South https://twitter.com/nztatots (NZTA Top of the South)
• The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic
• 0800 4 HIGHWAYS

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