Brynderwyn Hills State Highway 1 to reopen for Easter

For just over a month, the roughly 10-kilometre stretch of State Highway 1 over the Brynderwyn Hills has been closed for crucial repairs. 

So far there's been more than 124,000 cubic metres of soil dug from the hills.

But soon, around 500 workers will down tools to reopen the road for the Easter holiday period.

Transport Minister Simeon Brown said the decision to stop work and reopen the road was a compromise.

"I pushed really hard for this to be open over Easter because I know how important getting visitors and tourists to Northland is for their economy," he said. 

The work will start again for another six weeks. 

"Everything's on track, on budget, on time," said Steve Mutton, NZTA/Waka Kotahi director of regional relationships. "The weather's been really good to us".

The Brynderwyns have been closed eight times since 2022, and suffered major damage during Cyclone Gabrielle last year. But the repairs still aren't a long-term solution.

"This only buys around seven to 10 years worth of resilience for this route," said Brown. 

The Transport Minister said an alternative four-lane route is the answer, but doesn't know how much it'll cost or how long it'll take. 

"We can't give exact time frames right now, but the agency has started that work. We're saying this is the top priority travelling north and we need to get those answers as quickly as we can." 

State Highway 1 at the Brynderwyn Hills will reopen permanently from  May 13.