Despite being downgraded to a high-intensity low, ex-cyclone Gita has affected many New Zealand roads, especially those in the top of the South Island.
The most damage occurred to State Highway 60 between Riwaka and Takaka Hill with 16 separate slips. In places the road has been completely washed away.
“Multiple crews will be working on the Takaka Hill today and in coming days but it is likely to take at least several days before we’re able to re-open the road to a single lane,” says Frank Porter, Transport Agency System Manager. “We will update that timeline on Friday morning.”
NZ Transport Agency staff got a closer look at the road from a helicopter earlier today and full assessments of how parts of the damaged road will be repaired are underway.
“There are 16 slips between Riwaka Valley and the Summit of Takaka Hill with two sections of road completely washed away,” says Mr Porter. “We understand how important this highway is to Golden Bay and will be doing our best to get that link re-established.”
State Highway 60 is open on the Nelson side to the Marahau turn off (Riwaka/ Sandy Bay Rd), and on the Takaka side is closed from Upper Takaka except for local residents.
The Transport Agency is working closely with Tasman District Council and Emergency Management to ensure everyone is on the same page with repairs and realistic timelines.