Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Road closure for State Highway 6 for emergency repairs

Closure from 1 November to 18 December 2022

16 November 2022


SH6 emergency repairs heading into week three

The emergency repairs from Hira to just before Rai Valley township on State Highway 6 are going well. The crew is stepping it up to keep to the programme timeframe and will be doing some double shifts at some sites.

With excavation occurring in the first week, the second week focused on preparing, improving, and strengthening the foundational material the road will be constructed on, as well as piling and anchoring. This work is to make sure the new walls are strong and resilient. 

The second week also saw additional maintenance work started, including two new culvert replacements near Graham Stream and start of the repair to over 1km of worn roadside drains that will be lined with concrete.

Another major worksite was opened by the crew clearing vegetation and exposing the underground material at Red River, in preparation for a minor road realignment. The crew are working to identify several areas to extract gravel from the Whangamoa River to reduce flood risk to the community living at Kokorua Road, as well as utilise a high quality and no-cost bulk fill material for the road realignment works

Tasman Pine are also commencing work to fell roadside trees while the road is closed. Tasman Pine were planning to do this work next year, which would have likely ended with up a lot more disruption, so they could undertake this work safely. Every week this felling work is done under the full closure, we estimate will save around four weeks of disruption next year. We do expect more felling will need to be done at some stage next year.

Site 1
At Site One, the crew focused on getting the rock anchor and micro-piles installed on the lower rows last week. Once these were installed, scaffold platforms were set up, allowing the crew to install anchors in the uppermost row during this week of the closure

Site 2
At Site Two, the crew completed the remaining excavation which exposed some poor ground conditions and groundwater seepage. Further removal of poor soil and the installation of extra drainage was completed. The first layer of wall construction is getting started this week.

Site 3
Site Three, is progressing very well. The team completed the rock anchor installation last week and have placed concrete at the site and started on steel fixing and installing formwork (pouring concrete into moulds until it hardens and achieves enough strength to support itself).

Site 4
Site Four is the most challenging site due to its steep terrain and poor rock quality. The crew needed to do some more excavation on this site to make sure the foundations of the slope are strong. A portion of the Micro piles have been installed with drilling for these to continue in week three. At this site alone, there are 67 horizontal anchors and 25 Piles to install, a total of more than 750 lineal metres of drilling and anchoring. The crew are working hard to complete the drilling this week.

Up the road from Site Four, the drainage crew started the construction of a large 1350mm diameter pipe (culvert), adjacent to the site offices. This is a significant increase in drainage capacity for the gully and will help to avoid damage to the road from intense rain.

Graham Stream Culvert Replacement
Due to problematic flooding near Graham Stream, the crew renewed two culverts (under road pipes) last week and a further two are underway. There are two separate drainage crews completing this work at the same time. 



Images of the work sites

Below are the images of each of the work sites, from Site One to Site Four and the culvert work being completed.

Please note, the photos do not show all the crew and machinery that are actively using the site. 



Signage for the detour

We’ve received a few emails from people advising that they are missing the detour or getting lost. We have installed more signage and changed the text on the mobile variable message signs (VMS boards) to make it more clear about the closure and the detour.

We are carefully balancing informing people of the road closure, while making sure people know they can still get to Havelock, Pelorus, Rai Valley and Ronga Road by using SH6.

We have five variable message signs at different locations On Queen Charlotte Drive SH1 and SH6, starting from Picton. There is also a sign at the SH6/SH62 Junction south side of Wairau River Bridge. There is another sign just before St Arnaud prior to Tophouse Road on SH63.

To ensure the safety of everyone, the Tasman District Council is prohibiting heavy vehicles from using Korere-Tophouse Road as a through route. Learn more about this at www.tasman.govt.nz/my-council/about-us/media-centre/news-and-notices/heavy-vehicles-prohibited-from-korere-tophouse-road/.

If you know of people who are travelling between Blenheim and Nelson, please let them know about the road closure and the SH63 detour, and make sure they build in extra time for their journey. They will find our Journey Planner very helpful, visit www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz




Nelson City Council have also set up a single point of contact with a ‘recovery navigator’ role. You can contact the Nelson City Council’s recovery navigator on 03 546 0200 or email navigator@ncc.govt.nz

Marlborough District Council has a similar recovery navigator role, and you can contact them at recovery@marlborough.govt.nz