Highway safety barrier gates to be installed

The NZ Transport Agency will next month install permanent highway safety barrier gates at either end of the Fox Hills, between Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier.

The gates will be erected at the north end of Fox Glacier township, and south of Docherty Creek Rd at Franz Josef. They will be closed during bad weather when lives could be at risk.

"The decision to install these safety barrier gates on the Fox Hills stretch of State highway 6 came out of our experience during ex-tropical Cyclone Fehi early February, 2018," NZTA acting system manager Colin Hey said.

"As part of our debrief on that event with Civil Defence, emergency services and the local community, we identified that the installation of road closure gates at each end of the Fox Hills would help to keep people clear of this challenging section of road in future storm events."

Mr Hey said the gates would be used infrequently. They would be manned at all times when they were closed so that the reason for the temporary closure could be advised to drivers.

"Closing the gates in these situations will also reduce the need to put emergency service personnel into risky situations, for example, by drivers getting trapped between slips." The gates will be installed by the end of August at a cost of $30,000.

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