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SH60, Takaka Hill, to open to truck and trailer units

SH60, Takaka Hill, to open to truck and trailer units from middayTuesday, 20 March

Truck and trailer units will be able to travel on the Takaka Hill Road into and out of Golden Bay, SH60, from midday Tuesday 20 March, with the lunchtime, (permits-only) freight convoy.

“This will be the first time these truck and trailer units have been over the Takaka Hill since ex-tropical-cyclone Gita closed the road due to multiple slips on 20 February,” says NZ Transport Agency Network Manager Frank Porter.

Crews have been resurfacing damaged sections of the highway in recent days, after they had been widened to accommodate truck and trailer units. The widening has provided extra lane width needed to safely navigate some of the tighter corners, damaged due to slips and washouts.

“The crews have worked incredibly hard to reach this milestone,” says Mr Porter. “We’ve tested the route to make sure that a range of truck configurations can safely navigate their way through. Drivers will still need to take extra care around tight corners.

“We know that the restriction of no truck and trailer units has had an impact on Golden Bay businesses and the community. We know this news that the road will be open to them from Tuesday midday as part of the freight convoys and the normal morning and evening convoys will come as a welcome relief.”

• Truck and trailer units will also be able to travel over the hill in the 6am – 8am and 5pm – 7pm convoys (no permit required at these times), from middayTuesday.

• The lunchtime freight run is open for permitted truck and trailer units, and buses, also with permits.

• Over-dimension and over-weight vehicles will be considered on a case-by-case basis and should contact our Nelson permitting office for further details.

• The only restrictions currently in place are for pedestrians and cyclists, both of which can travel via a motor vehicle or on a bus.

Advice for motorcyclists

Motorcyclists are asked to be considerate of all the people using State Highway 60, Takaka Hill Road, as part of the current convoys. “It is critical for the safe operation of the convoys, that everyone including motorcyclists obey the rules,” says Mr Porter. “This means being considerate of other road users by keeping their position in the convoy and not speeding or overtaking other vehicles.”

Motorcyclists are asked to:
• Stay in the queue, don’t jump the queue or go to the front.
• Expect patches of loose gravel and wet areas that will need extra attention and care.
• No stopping and no overtaking, stay in the line once underway.

More people getting to Golden Bay

“This week we’ve seen an average of 1000 vehicles travel the hill each day with 1900 on Sundays and the number is steadily rising, which is great news for Golden Bay,” says Mr Porter. “The road is becoming more and more reliable and we are doing everything we can to enable tourists, local people and the freight industry access to this beautiful part of New Zealand.

“We have received a number of queries about the opening hours for Easter and beyond and we are actively looking at how we can extend and alter the hours to better accommodate people’s needs, while still progressing with the repair work. We are using the time between traffic openings to get the road repaired quickly, as daylight saving ends 1 April and winter months are not far off.”

Key safety messages for drivers on the hill and people waiting in the convoys
• No overtaking or stopping on the Takaka Hill - people need to stay in their place in the convoy and drive with care once they are over the hill each side.
• Turn your lights off while waiting at either end of the closure point so that your vehicle battery doesn’t go flat.
• Please don’t wander out into the oncoming lane while you are waiting to join a convoy (particularly children). Vehicles are travelling over the hill in that lane.
• Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and you have sufficient fuel.

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 is likely to be later than from 5 pm – 7 pm. The exact hours open will be confirmed closer to Easter.
After Easter hours and access – Friday, 6 April onwards
The Transport Agency is aiming to open up the road (single lane access will remain) to be used without convoys, outside of the daytime construction work, ie outside of 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, including overnight. It is intended that the section of SH60 through the slip sites will be managed by traffic signals, until two lanes can be reinstated. However, this planned timetable to move the convoy system to signals is dependent on good weather in coming weeks.

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:
• email takakahill@nzta.govt.nz
• check latest update: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh60-takaka-hill-repairs/
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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