Council Information

Awatere Valley Road Reopens Tomorrow


Nine weeks after the Kaikoura earthquake cut off their road with a massive slip, the farmers of the Upper Awatere Valley will once again be able to drive out of the valley when the road reopens tomorrow.

The slip brought down tonnes of rock and gravels which had to be cleared; a dangerous project which required helicopters, dynamite and a remote-controlled digger.

Marlborough Roads Journey Manager Steve Murrin says, from tomorrow, the road will be open to the public including heavy vehicles up to Class 1.

“Travellers can again travel up through the Molesworth but only in vehicles of up to 7 metres; anything longer than that won’t get through,” he said.

He warns that the road still requires many repairs and people should drive with the utmost care.

“The Awatere Valley Road is a challenging route at the best of times, much of it unsealed, with some very steep sections and some very high precipices so drivers need to take extreme care. At present there are still a lot of cracks that are still be filled and it is not easy driving.”

He said people using the road may face delays as contractors are still at work. Drivers should also look out for stock wandering on the road.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done on the roads and it’s not really the place for people who just want to see what’s been going on.”

The earthquake damage had been a huge technical challenge and the contractors had done a terrific job in difficult conditions to reinstate the road in such a short time, said Mr Murrin.

Nine families in the upper Awatere have been relying on helicopter supply drops since the November earthquake.


The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.

Maintaining the structural safety of our bridges

Roading is the single biggest area of spending at Council – maintaining more than 360 bridges valued at almost $70M.

These structures deteriorate over time but, with regular maintenance, the average lifespan of a bridge is about 100 years. Even so, we expect to replace an average of three bridges each year and undertake some structural renewal work on other bridges.

This year four bridges will be completely replaced and five will get new reinforced concrete decks.

The construction of the four single-span, single lane bridges and five deck replacements has been awarded to Higgins Contractors Ltd, Nelson with work due to start early in 2018.

The new bridges are:

  • Netherwood Bridge Nos. 1 and 2 – Waihopai Valley Road
  • Parsons Road Bridge – Parsons Road
  • Robin Hood Bay Bridge, Port Underwood Road
  • The deck renewal bridges are:
  • Birch Bridge and Vercoes Bridge – Tinline Road
  • Blicks Road Bridge, Blicks Road
  • Neals Bridge, Tunakino Valley Road
  • O’Connors Bridge – Brookby Road

For queries contact Marlborough Roads, phone 520 8330.



For the keen walkers and cyclists in the QEII Drive area please be advised that the Hills Road subway is now open again, we had to close access to this subway last week Friday due to a very persistent spring causing flooding near and in the subway. We hope you’ve noticed our attached poster on site or were forewarned by the transport media channels.

Please note that the Grimseys Road subway is closed for just over 24 hours from Saturday 27 January 4am till Sunday 9am. We are pouring concrete for the floor, see attached notice for more information on this.

Work on Cranford Street is progressing well, we are working in area 1 on the east side, see map below. We will be trenching across the McFaddens Road intersection so remember you cannot turn into or exit from east McFaddens Road onto Cranford Street; the intersection will be temporarily closed during the works from Tuesday 30 January.

Two way traffic on Cranford Street is being maintained. Access to the SmallWorld preschool and the shops: PlaceMakers, Mico plumbing, Cranford Alehouse and Cranford Mowers & Chainsaws is available as normal.



Natural springs near QEII Drive and the subway are causing
flooding; we had to close the Hills Road subway temporarily and at
short notice.
We apologise for the inconvenience. Please use an alternative
route via the Grimseys Road subway. See map above.
We expect to have the Hills Road subway open again from late
afternoon on Friday 26 January, depending on how quickly we can
clear the water and sand.

If you require more information please phone 0800 262 200.
Thank you for your understanding.