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Otira Update: Weather Brings Uncertainty - Highway Closed Thursday For Re-surfacing And One Day Next Week


The Fulton Hogan team re-surfacing the Otira Gorge, part of SH73, has two days’ work left to complete the asphalting project, says NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA).

At this stage, the closed days will be Thursday this week, 10 am to 6 pm, and either Monday or Tuesday next week. Friday’s forecast is no good at this point based on temperature in the Otira Gorge.

“Unfortunately, the weather forecast for this week is very variable due to a south-west flow pushing up the South Island,” says NZTA System Manager for the Central South Island Mark Pinner.

“This typically brings unsettled weather to the West Coast and alpine passes which makes it difficult to identify a dry and warm working window that lines up with our working hours with any certainty.

“It looks like there will be a period of dry weather on Thursday this week, however the forecast weather temperatures are still low, possibly less than 10 degrees during the day.”

At this stage, the highway will be closed Thursday 10 am to 6 pm, 14 December, and either Monday or Tuesday next week, 18 or 19 December. Mr Pinner notes that if the air temperature stays low, the work could be called off at short notice on any of these days.

“We understand this uncertainty and disruption is frustrating for regular road users but we need to ensure that we get this work right, to get the best quality and longest lasting surface we can provide,” he says.

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