Northland businesses facing more than two months of disruption with Brynderwyns closure

The Brynderwyn Hills are closing for another round of work after destruction caused by Cyclone Gabrielle last year.

Steve Mutton, director of regional relationships at the New Zealand Transport Agency, said the work is crucial to future-proof the road in the event of major weather occurrences.

"We're going to be digging into the hillside and moving the two lanes of road away from the vulnerable edge," he said.

"That creates a wider shoulder, allows us to respond to issues much more quickly."

The closure is set to only add about 20 minutes to a trip north for cars, where drivers can detour through Mangawhai and Waipū.

But that route isn't suitable for freight, which is likely to be directed through an inland road. Heavy freight will have to drive through Dargaville, which adds another 71 kilometres to the trip.

More than 1000 trucks travel through the Brynderwyns each day and the detours are expected to be costly.

"On the shorter route, that adds about $80,000 a day to freight costs, because of the extra time," said Transporting New Zealand's Dom Kalasih.

"If they take the longer route via Dargaville... that adds about $250,000 a day."

Murray Lane owns a cafe in Waipū just over the Brynderwyns and is worried it might take a hit.

"I actually foresee we'll be cutting staff or dropping hours at least. But in saying that, I don't know because it might be better this time, because people are prepared for it," he said.

"But we have excellent local support here, so we're lucky."

Further up north, locals want people to know the region is still open.

Some, like the Duke of Marlborough hotel, are even enticing punters in.

Co-owner Riki Kinnaird said those who stay at their hotel during the time of the closure will even earn themselves a free McLeods beer or orange juice.

"We'll put you on the deck and you can de-stress!"

Josh Kirby from the Kaitaia Business Association said what the region really needs is a long-term fix.

"There must be some focus on finding a permanent solution so that we don't end up in this position again," he said.

"The road closes on the 26th of February and it would be my expectation that planning for a permanent solution starts on the 27th."

He's encouraging visitors to still head up North, and enjoy the scenic routes available.