Rising rivers, slides on key roads with Otago and Canterbury rain closing some highways

Transport agency Waka Kotahi NZ is warning drivers in Otago and Canterbury to be aware of slips and possible washouts on a number of routes.

“These slides and rockfalls will continue this week,” says Graeme Hall, system manager for Waka Kotahi in Otago and Southland. “We encourage everyone to check our traffic map before heading out so you know which routes are closed or will take longer.”

Traffic updates: journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic

The Lindis Pass, SH8, between Omarama and Tarras, is currently the most landslide-affected highway in the South Island / Te Waipounamu. There are several slips and a bridge abutment requires a full inspection. It will be closed all day and night at least.

The Otago Regional Council is urging people to be careful around rivers and low lying areas. Rivers and streams around Central Otago and upper Clutha continue to rise with the current downpours, which are expected to remain high today.

For more details: https://www.orc.govt.nz/news-and-events/news-and-media-releases/2022/july/caution-urged-around-many-otago-waterways

Otago Closures

The Lindis Pass, Omarama to Tarras, SH8: Closed all day today and maybe until tomorrow. Several slides and a bridge abutment on the Otago side need to be inspected today. “If the bridge abutment needs repair, that will keep Lindis Pass closed until Wednesday,” Mr Hall said. https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/391592

SH6 from Lake Hawea north of Haast: Closed due to fallen trees, flooding and high winds after 7am today. https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/391471

From Te Anau to Milford Sound

Piopiotahi highway between the Hollyford and Donne rivers, SH94: Closed due to avalanche risk but likely to open at noon, avalanche clearance is going well so far. After 6pm, if open, chains will be required. Next update today at noon. https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/391419

Canterbury closures / delay or slip zones

Aoraki/ Mount Cook, SH80: Closed between Ben Ohau and Aoraki/Mt Cook due to landslide this morning. https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/392635

Omarama to Kurow, SH83: Floods have closed this road since 7 am this morning. https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/391596

SH77 Methven to Rakaia Gorge between Holmes and Mt Hutt Station Roads:

An earlier washout between Blackford Road and Mt Hutt Station Road on SH77 is also active with narrow lanes and 30kph. https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadhazards/390752

Closure of a local road due to the collapse of a bridge, Ohau lake road near Twizel: This road/bridge closure is approximately 300 meters from SH8. https://www.facebook.com/WaitakiDistrictCouncil

Strong wind warnings for SH73 Arthur’s Pass and SH7 Lewis Pass

Motorhomes, caravans, high vehicles and motorcyclists should take care on these two unmissable Alpine passes.

Plan ahead for a safe and enjoyable trip. Keep up to date with:

Traffic updates: journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic

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