SH1 Planned Closure

2018.04 SH1 closure

This page contains information on planned closures for SH1. All the information on this page is sourced from NZTA and NCTIR. For real-time information on SH1, visit the Plan your journey page on NZTA website. 

On this page:

16 May: Planned night closure south of Kaikōura Monday 28 May 2018

On Monday 28 May 10PM, SH1 south of Kaikōura will close overnight for essential work. It will reopen Tuesday 29 May 6.30AM.

The closed section is the highway between Peketa and SH1/Leader Road intersection.

A short closure is needed to carry out work that can't be completed safely while the road is open. 

"A temporary wall of 40 shipping containers and concrete blocks was established at three locations south of Kaikōura, near Paratitahi Tunnels, in the early stages of the recovery, to protect road users from rockfall. Crews have been working on widening the southbound tunnel at this location. To enable us to complete the northbound tunnel, the containers need to be removed, then we can complete widening work.

A series of HIAB trucks with cranes will move the containers with 16 expected to be removed in one night." 

Tresca Forrester, Network Operations Manager for the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance.

More night closures to come

Further night closures are being planned for late June to remove the final containers and 200-300 concrete blocks that have also been serving as rockfall protectors.

Closure dates will be publicised as soon as they are confirmed to give as much notice as possible to drivers and the community.

Read the official NZTA media release here. 

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UPDATE 18 APRIL: This closure has been extended to 3pm Thursday 19 April. 

Due to high winds, abseiling and rock removal SH1 south of Kaikōura reduced the time available to complete required work. The highway will remain closed south of Kaikōura until 3pm Thursday 19 April

Local convoys will operate tonight (Wednesday 18 April) 6pm-7.30pm and in the morning 7.30am-9am to assist residents to leave and return to their homes. 

"We understand this is frustrating for road users but it is important to have the highway as safe as possible heading into winter and round the clock open hours both sides of the town" NCTIR Network Operations Manager, Tresca Forrester says. 

Anyone travelling between Picton and Christchurch on Thursday 19 April is advised to use the alternate route via Lewis Pass. For travel south of Kaikōura, the Inland Road via Waiau (Route 70) can be used.

SH1 is set to open 24/7 30 April, and work is required to make the highway safe before then. Read more about this here. 

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6 APRIL: Planned one-day closure of SH1 south of Kaikōura Wednesday 18 April 2018. 

The Hurunui bridge will close for half an hour between 10am-10.30am, 11am-11.30am, 12pm-12.30pm and 1pm-1.30pm on Wednesday 18 April. It will be open all other times.

The section of SH1 between the SH1/Leader Road intersection and Peketa will be closed to all traffic for a full day. This means the gate will close at 7.30pm on Tuesday 17 April and reopen at 7.30am on Thursday 19 April. SH1 North of Kaikōura will remain open. 

Please keep in mind that the planned work is weather dependent. If Wednesday 18 April is not suitable, then Thursday 19 April will be used, but this will be communicated at the start of that week.

What if I am a resident on the closed section?

Local convoys will operate morning and night to allow residents only to access their homes. They will operate between 7.30am-9am and again from 6pm-7.30pm.

Alternative route

Anyone travelling between Picton and Christchurch on 18 April is advised to use the alternate route, via the Lewis Pass.

For travel south of Kaikōura, the Inland Road (Route 70) can be used. 


This closure is necessary to complete essential work so the road can be opened 24/7 by the end of April. The crews need to bring down material from hillsides and replace guardrail in a narrow section of road. The area has limited space, so it cannot be done safely while the road is open. Bridge inspection works are required on the Hurunui Bridge. NZTA apologise for the inconvenience of this closure, but it is necessary work which contributes to them being able to reopen SH1 at night as soon as possible. Thank you for your ongoing patience.

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You can find SH1 updates here.

To stay up-to-date with real-time travel information see here, or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

Last updated: 16 May 2018