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The 10km Northern Corridor from the edge of the city through to the Waimakariri Bridge has taken four years to complete.
One lane in each direction was due to open from this morning.
The plan was for a reduced number of vehicles to bed in the freshly laid chip seal, ahead of all for lanes being opened in two weeks.
However rain due to fall on the city this morning has scuppered those plans.
The soft re-opening will go ahead tomorrow, depending on the weather.