The NZ Transport Agency is advising drivers that delays are likely for travel on SH73 with a detour in place from tomorrow (January 15) at Mingha Bluff, and other roadworks and repairs are carried out.
A short detour will be in place on SH73 at Mingha Bluff from January 15-22, to allow contractors to safely lower the road around the bluff. The detour will take the road over the railway line (to the north) for about 500m. The detour will reduce the road to a single lane, with temporary traffic lights managing traffic.
When a train is using the track, gates and other safety measures will be used to ensure no one is using the detour. This detour may cause delays of up to 10 minutes when a train is passing through, with shorter delays at other times.
The work is part of the SH73 Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek Realignment, just east of Arthur's Pass Township. The first sod was turned on this $22 million project in May 2015 and it is expected to take around two years to complete.
The project will improve safety on a 5km length of SH73 from Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek which is narrow at many points and has tight corners that restrict visibility for road users. The project will provide a safer and more forgiving route, with many tight curves removed, dips and hollows smoothed and a wider 9m carriageway.
Other safety works are also being carried out on SH73 beginning next week. Pavement repairs and improvements at Craigieburn, Porters Pass and Joines Cutting on the Canterbury side of SH73 will be carried out from Monday January 18 to Friday January 22.
Some delays are also possible on the West Coast side with rock face stabilisation work, including the installation of netting, to be carried out at Starvation Point from Sunday January 17 until the end of February.
Transport Agency journey manager Lee Wright says travellers could experience delays of up to 30 minutes.
“We know that delays like this can be frustrating and inconvenient, but our work crews need to make the best use of the summer weather and the longer daylight hours to get this crucial work done. The warm and dry conditions of summer are the best conditions to carry out repairs and maintenance to the highway surface to keep it safe all year round.”
Ms Wright thanked all drivers for taking care near work crews and building in extra time to their SH73 journeys.
The Transport Agency thanks motorists for their patience and apologises for any inconvenience.