State Highway 1 looks set to be completely closed over the Brynderwyn Hills for two months early next year so Waka Kotahi can carry out further repair work on huge slips caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The transport agency said confirmed closure dates and detour routes would be announced next month, once funding recommendations and other processes were approved.
A spokesperson said the works would be timed to avoid peak holiday traffic, with February to April most likely.
“As we know January is a busy time for holiday travel,” they said. “The proposed closure will not take place in January and we will work around other key dates such as Waitangi Day and Easter.”
Closure would mean lengthy delays for drivers in both directions, as well as traffic chaos on local roads used as detour routes east and west of the hills. There were numerous instances of trucks getting stuck between Mangawhai and Waipu earlier this year, when the Brynderwyns were first closed for post-storm slip repairs.
Waka Kotahi said it was working to ensure alternative routes would be fit for purpose and would do all it could to make the process as pain-free as possible for motorists, Northland businesses and local residents.
“During this process we will engage with our partners, stakeholders and the community to ensure the work is carefully planned to minimise disruptions as much as possible.”
The agency added that the work was necessary to keep the Brynderwyns open and maintained in the short to medium term; longer term “resilience options” were still being considered.