The road, which travels through devastated Esk Valley, no longer looks as it once did, but countless man hours have got it to the point where it’s almost ready to reopen, Waka Kotahi says.
State Highway 5 will reopen to all traffic from Napier to Taupō during the day from 7am on Monday.
The March 20 reopening will be one month and one week to the day since it was closed as Cyclone Gabrielle began to ramp up in Hawke’s Bay on February 13.
The road, which travels through devastated Esk Valley, has taken countless man hours to repair and check, and no longer looks “like it did before”, Waka Kotahi said in a statement.
“There are 32 damaged sites along the route, ranging from minor dropouts to significant underslips and washouts.
“There’ll be speed restrictions in place to keep you safe, and there are active work sites. Because of that, the journey between Napier and Taupō will take longer than it used to.
“Travel carefully through the work sites and stick to the posted speed limits. Our contractors will be operating water trucks to suppress dust for the communities living in Eskdale.”
For the safety of drivers, the road will close at night from 7pm to 7am, with closure points at SH2 Kaimata Road, Glengarry Road, and Matea Road.
“The environment around SH5 remains fragile, and we may still need to close the road at short notice due to its vulnerability,” the statement from Waka Kotahi said.
“Planned daytime road closures will be required as part of our scheduled road renewal programme. We’ll provide further updates on these—they’re expected to take place within the next two weeks, and they’ll be single-day closures.
“Due to the road’s vulnerability, we can’t give access to over dimensional loads (category 4 and higher), but all other heavy vehicles are permitted to travel.
“We’d like to acknowledge the communities that live along SH5—they’ve experienced significant disruption with the road closed. Thanks for bearing with us while we worked to reopen SH5.
“Enjoy reconnecting with your friends and whānau and getting to where you need to go.”
Leave a Reply