Thursday, August 25, 2022

Waka Kotahi Traffic Bulletin: South Island State Highways. Weather update


Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman state highway update

Weather warning:

More bad weather is forecast for today. A heavy rain watch has been issued for Tasman, west of Motueka, and rain is expected for Nelson and Marlborough later today and overnight. This could affect roads across the upper South Island. Road users should stay up to date on road and weather conditions before they travel.


Metservice Weather Warnings


Waka Kotahi Journeys Page



State Highway 6, Rocks Road, partial reopening:

The road is currently open under restrictions. It is planned to be open daily from 8 am to 7 pm to one-way for northbound traffic only from Tahunanui towards the City. A 30 km/h speed limit is in place along Rocks Road and by Tahunanui to minimise the impact on homes at risk from a nearby slip.

Nelson Civil Defence's geotechnical experts will review the slip's status and advise us if Rocks Road needs to be closed. If weather becomes an issue, a closure may be required at short notice.

At this time, opening both lanes or reversing the one-way direction for morning and afternoon peak traffic times cannot be done safely. Our experience is that reversing traffic on the same lane and ensuring people are aware of the changes and timing is far too complex at this time.


Opening Rocks Road to two-lane, two-way traffic also depends on the risk posed by the nearby slip. We are working with Nelson Civil Defence Geotechnical advisors to see when this can happen. We will provide further updates when we know more.

Average travel times from Richmond to Nelson fell this morning, and we will continue to monitor peak traffic flows over the coming days to understand the impact of reopening.


Because of the ongoing slip risks in the Rocks Road area, the route is closed to pedestrians and cyclists for safety reasons. This is based on guidance from the Nelson Civil Defence and its geotechnical experts. We cannot say when pedestrians or cyclists will be able to resume using the road. We recommend cyclists use the Railway Reserve route via Bishopdale Hill to access Nelson’s city centre.



State Highway 6. Atawhai Drive:

This is now restored to two lanes. Work continues to clear slip sites further, with traffic management in place. With wet weather forecast, road users should be aware conditions here could change at short notice.


State Highway 63. Renwick to Saint Arnaud:

The northern closure point has now moved to Leatham Road. However, the highway remains closed between Leatham Road and Saint Arnaud. 

Contractors are working hard to restore this link. Efforts are underway to divert the river away from the abutment at the washed-out Branch River Bridge.



State Highway 6. Renwick to Hira:

Good progress is being made on reopening Renwick to Havelock to all road users. Final safety checks need to be done, and Civil Defence approval given before full access can resume. We will update the situation as soon as decisions are made.


State Highway 60. Tākaka to Onekaka update:

Efforts to reopen this road to heavy vehicles are going well. However, daytime road closures remain in place. This week, the road will be open to light vehicles only during the following hours 8 am - 9 am, 12 pm - 1 pm, 3 pm - 4 pm, and 6 pm - 7 am. We will update the road’s status as soon as access for heavy vehicles is restored.


Advice to road users:

In Nelson, the closure of local roads and the limited use of State Highway 6 via Rocks Road means congestion may be an ongoing problem. Drivers must factor this into their travel plans and show patience and consideration for other road users.


Across the wider region, roadworks will be ongoing for some time. Some of this work will result in road closures. When these are planned, we will let people know in advance. We also ask that speed limits be observed, and drivers are prepared for delays.


Most importantly, flood damage is present on most roads across the top of the South Island. It is vital people drive to the conditions and adjust their speed accordingly.

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