West Coast Road to re-open for light traffic only by the weekend

Published on 21 September 2022

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Re-opening the section of West Coast Road near Kohukohu that was closed by a slip in August, has been given the green light from Friday 23 September by the Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA).

The section of West Coast Road between Panguru and Kohukohu will re-open for single lane, light traffic only, and will be welcome news for locals who have had to detour via Broadwood to access the Hokianga Ferry and other facilities since the slip on 19 August.

A priority give-way system will be operated by council contractors in time for the one-off long weekend, with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II being marked by a public holiday on Monday 26 September.  

Temporary works to create a safe traffic lane through the site have made the road re-opening possible, as well as further assessment by geotechnical engineers. Assessing the site only became possible in early September after weeks of delays caused by continuing subsidence, slip movement creating unstable ground, and ongoing wet weather.

Light traffic, including passenger vehicles will be allowed through, however, heavy goods vehicles as defined by Waka Kotahi will be required to continue using the detour route, through Broadwood and Runaruna Roads. Variable Message (VMS) boards previously installed at the Hokianga vehicle ferry terminal and intersection of Runaruna and West Coast Roads will remain in place, with updated messaging to inform heavy goods vehicles of the required detour.

Temporary repairs to the road are continuing to maintain access, while further investigations and monitoring are ongoing. Long-term repairs will not be possible until repair and funding options can be fully considered.

Two significant West Coast Road sites, along with over 60 other slip sites across the Far North network have now had initial geotechnical assessments completed, with reports to follow.