Kaikoura highway should be open by Xmas - NZTA

  • 21/10/2017
SH1 near Kaikoura.
Damage done after the Kaikoura quake. Photo credit: Getty

Work on earthquake damaged State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura is progressing well and it should be open for Christmas, the New Zealand Transport Agency says.

The route from Picton to Christchurch via the coast has been closed since the magnitude 7.8 quake on November 14, 2016 devastated infrastructure around the coastal town of Kaikoura and elsewhere.

NZTA earthquake recovery manager Tim Crow says work is on track to re-open the road in time for the summer holidays.

Still, when the road reopens there will be some unsealed surfaces, lane closures and stop/go traffic controls.

The route will also need to be closed at night for several months as a safety precaution.

It will take about 5.5 hours to travel between Picton and Christchurch, an hour longer than pre-earthquake, but about an hour faster than the alternate highway route via Lewis Pass.

Work on the road will continue in 2018.