Weather sees Desert Road closure delayed

Posted at 7:52am Thursday 08 Mar, 2018

The bridge was damaged when a truck crashed last year.

The State Highway 1-Desert Road closure has been postponed to a date to be determined later because of expected bad weather.

The initial closure was scheduled to take place from 7am Wednesday.

The road is being closed to enable the concrete deck to be poured and was always weather-dependent.

NZTA Waikato Transport Systems Manager, Karen Boyt, says concrete doesn't pour well in bad weather and the risk of environmental and safety impacts is high.

“We'd like to apologise for moving this closure again but we need to ensure the job can be done within 36 hours so that it doesn't cause even more delays to freight and people who need to use the Desert Road.

“The new date is yet to be confirmed so people should check our website or call us before they leave for their journey so they're aware of what's ahead of them,” Ms Boyt says.

The work could take place over the weekend or next week, but dates are to be confirmed and still subject to weather.

Another similar 36-hour closure is scheduled for early April, this will also be weather permitting.

Outside of the closure times people can expect the bridge to be down to one lane, with some short closures of around 5 minutes. There is a 30km/h limit in place.

The alternative route is State Highways 46, 47, 4, and 49. This detour is not suitable for vehicles over 46 tonnes, apart from 50MAX which is permitted.

There are also multiple maintenance work sites on the Desert Road during this period and  delays are possible at other sites.

High productivity motor vehicles can use the SH3 and SH3A route between Hamilton and Bulls.

Vehicles with over-weight loads or over-dimension loads wider than 3.0 metres are unable to use the Desert Road section of SH1 until the bridge repairs are complete in April. 

The closure dates are subject to fine weather. Updates will be posted at the sites below.

People can check all current road closures here:

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