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Otira Gorge, SH73, Paving Project Completed In Good Time

The re-surfacing/ asphalting renewal in the Otira Gorge was completed yesterday, says NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA).

“This is excellent news for West Coasters ahead of Christmas and everyone who relies upon the Arthur’s Pass link between Canterbury and Greymouth,” says Moira Whinham, Maintenance Contract Manager on the West Coast for NZTA.

“There was a slight delay with reopening as rolling took slightly longer to finish off, but traffic was moving by 6.30pm,” she says.

“Line marking and final tidy up is happening today, so there is still traffic management in place. People should anticipate short delays today, but we do not require any further closures next week.

“There was an incredible amount of gear on site yesterday - 35 trucks supplying two pavers working together to get the surfacing completed in a single shift. After a slightly slow start while they lined everything up, they manage to achieve a paving rate of approximately double what they were expecting, which on the 16% grade through the gorge is quite a feat.”

Miss Whinham said the Fulton Hogan crew had done a great job working around the weather opportunities which restricted last week’s advertised closure days to four and this week allowed just one day to work when the temperature was warm enough for a successful re-surfacing. It was essential to have contingency days factored in given the unpredictable weather and temperatures in the alpine passes.

Lewis Pass, Reefton to Greymouth, SH7, focus for next week

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Moira Whinham says the final push for West Coast road crews before Christmas is on SH7 next week,18-22 December, to finish paving and repairs on remaining sites on that route. This work was paused while Otira paving was underway. There will be a number of sites between Reefton and Greymouth with delays up to 30 minutes.

People’s patience is appreciated in the run-in to Christmas and everyone will be doing their best to minimise delays.

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