Dates confirmed for SH1 Brynderwyn Hills closure
NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) today released the following update on the upcoming closure of the Brynderwyn Hills in 2024.
Working together with stakeholders and the community, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) has made a decision about timing for the closure of State Highway 1 (SH1) Brynderwyn Hills. This critical work will restore the road for the short to medium term following severe weather events earlier this year.
Taking into account the urgency of the works, the road will be closed from 26 February until 27 March, opening for six days over the Easter period. The road will then close again on 3 April to complete the remaining work that requires a full closure. In total, the closure is expected to be about nine weeks, with work done as quickly as possible.
Steve Mutton, Director Regional Relationships NZTA thanks stakeholders and the community for their feedback which helped make the decision about timing for the closure.
“People have agreed with us that getting the road fixed for the medium term is critical and needs to be done as soon as possible. Two hundred people attended one of two online webinars and 2,600 people provided feedback online. We’re also very grateful for the work of the Northland Inc steering group, representing freight and tourism interests and industry input collected by North Chamber.”
NZTA initially proposed two closure windows; one earlier and one later, each with benefits and drawbacks for various groups.
“Ultimately, we have come up with a hybrid option that caters as much as we can to freight, tourism, and the community in general. This option also gives us more time to prepare for the closure and work with Northland Transport Alliance to make sure the local detour routes are ready” says Mr Mutton.
The decision strikes a balance between the need to keep Northland open over the busy Easter period while also allowing crews to get the work done when the weather is fine, completing it as quickly as possible.
“We’ve had lots of great feedback about what we can do to support people and businesses during the closure. We’ve heard that we need to improve detour routes and provide clearer signage and wayfinding. Crews are already working to prepare SH12 and SH14 and we're also working closely with the Northland Transportation Alliance to finalise the detail of local detour routes and ensure they are as high quality as possible” says Mr Mutton.
Northland Inc CE, Paul Linton, says the timing of the closure of SH1 over the Brynderwyns is a complex issue, however the restoration works are crucial to the region’s economy.
“Northland cannot afford another unplanned closure of the Brynderwyns as we experienced in early 2023. We understand the impacts which any closure of SH1 has on our goods, services and visitor industries, as well as our communities, and we are appreciative of NZTA for partnering with Northland stakeholders around decisions related to this important work.
“We’re continuing to work alongside NZTA to minimise the impact of the planned closure and ensure clear, consistent communication to our communities, industries, and visitors to the Northland region, to make sure they know that Northland is open for business and ready to welcome visitors.”
Detour routes that are safe and as high quality as possible will be available for people and goods, and while these may take a little longer, we encourage people to use it as an opportunity to explore Northland and have an adventure.
For visitors, the Waipu Cove route offers incredible scenery and the opportunity to take a break and enjoy beaches and town centres along the drive. Alternatively, SH12 and SH14 also offer some great places to stop along the way.
People are also urged to drive to the conditions over the summer and keep a lookout for our roadworkers still hard at work over the break.
A detour campaign will begin in February to remind people that although SH1 Brynderwyn Hills is closed, Northland is still open via a number of alternative routes.
We also encourage all road users to use the Journey Planner to help plan their travel. To sign up for further updates on the project, please visit nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh1-brynderwyn-hills/