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Buller Gorge to close for maintenance works, travellers warned of delays

State Highway 6 through the Lower Buller Gorge at Hawks Crag.

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State Highway 6 through the Lower Buller Gorge at Hawks Crag.
Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

The Buller Gorge will close overnight next week for road maintenance and lane marking.

Waka Kotahi says the work will cover both upper and lower sections of the gorge, which means that section of State Highway 6 needs to fully close at night between 14-18 November.

West Coast maintenance contract manager Moira Whinham said in order to do the work safely, the highway would close between 10pm and 6am.

There will be an opening between 1am and 1.30am to allow traffic through.

Whinham said people who normally travelled in and out of Westport overnight would need to ensure they were through the Buller Gorge before 10pm, or be at the road blocks during the opening time or they would have to wait for the 6am re-opening.

“We appreciate this will be inconvenient for some people and thank you for enabling us to get this work done before Christmas.

“The full road closures are safer for our crews and enable us to get more done in a shorter space of time, but we acknowledge some road users may have to change their schedules around the opening times.”

Work will only occur over one section of the gorge at a time, starting in the Upper Buller Gorge with a road closure between O’Sullivans Bridge and Inangahua township.

When the Lower Buller Gorge works begin, the road will be closed between Inangahua Junction and the SH67/6 junction east entrance to Westport.

Emergency services will be accommodated through the closure.

The alternative routes into Westport for people on SH6 coming from the east involve a large loop route via Springs Junction or coming from Greymouth in the south.

Story Credit: rnz.co.nz

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