The collapse of earth under State Highway One means the road
will be closed for several days at the Brynderwyn Hills in
Heavy rain in Northland last night led to a 10m-long section
of hill collapsing under the highway this afternoon, the NZ
Transport Agency (NZTA) said.
"Unlike the underslip on SH1 at Kawakawa last week, there is
no room on the Brynderwyns to build a detour route around the
collapsed section of road. We will have to repair the
underslip itself before we can re-open the Brynderwyns," said
the NZTA's Regional Journey Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.
The slip was still moving and a detailed assessment of ground
stability would have to be completed before repair work could
begin, she said.
"We are aware of the importance of this section of highway as
the main road link between Northland and Auckland. Everything
will be done to have it repaired as quickly as possible, but
it will only be re-opened when we are completely satisfied it
is safe for people to use."
Two detours are available for drivers. One is via SH12
through Paparoa and Oakleigh, and the other is via Waiapu and
Mangawhai. The detours will add another 30 to 40 minutes to
journeys, NZTA said.
"An underslip can be more a challenge to repair than a part
of hill that has fallen on top of a road," Ms Hori-Hoult
Heavy rain in Northland also caused surface flooding in many
areas. People were asked to drive to the conditions by
lowering their speed, increasing their following distance and
allowing more time for travel, Ms Hori-Hoult said.
Northland Civil Defence spokesman Graeme MacDonald said the
rain caused a number of issues, including slips and flooding
Northland Regional Council rainfall figures for the 24 hours
to 6am today showed more than 100mm of rain fell in some
areas in Northland.
A peak rainfall intensity of 33mm/hr was recorded at the
Brynderwyn rain gauge early today, Mr MacDonald said.
River levels throughout Northland were monitored closely and
although they had risen significantly overnight, causing
localised flooding in some areas, there were no widespread
Anyone whose home was flooded or who urgently needed
accommodation, food, heating, clothing or medical supplies
should contact their local council in the first instance, Mr
Meanwhile, a heavy rain warning for the region issued by
MetService has now been lifted. The rain was caused by a low
which was forecast to move slowly away to the north-east
Further showers can be expected as the low moves away, with
about 10 to 15mm possible in south-eastern areas, but the
most significant rain has now ceased.
- Brendan Manning and Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ