Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will be closing State Highway 1 Desert Road overnight for five nights from Sunday 15 March for resurfacing work in the Three Sisters area.

While work is taking place traffic heading between Waiouru and Turangi will be diverted around the western side of Ruapehu on SH49/SH4/SH47/SH41 during the working hours of 6pm to 5am.

Waikato System Manager Rob Campbell says that the narrow width of the Desert Road in the Three Sisters area means that it needs to be closed for the resurfacing equipment and staff to be able to work safely.

“We appreciate that it is an inconvenience for SH1 traffic to be diverted away from the Desert Road, however the safety of crews working on the road is paramount,” Mr Campbell says.

“We would also like to acknowledge that this is relatively late notice for the freight industry and the travelling public of a major detour, however this work needs to be done and our contractor, Downer, has had the resource become available at short notice.”

“It’s better to do this work now and ensure the Desert Road is in the safest condition it can be ahead of winter,” Mr Campbell says.

There are a number of other SH1 worksites in the Taupo area during March, as part of a record summer for state highway repair and renewal across New Zealand.

  • Te Pōporo/Bulli Point remains down to one lane with 24-hour Stop/Go traffic management while retaining walls are being built. The road is expected to reopen to two lanes on Friday 27 March before night closures start on Sunday 29 March to reseal around the point. Read more here.
  • During the week of 23 March there will be another reseal site on the Desert Road which means the road will be under Stop/Go traffic management during the day.
  • While SH1 between Taupō and Turangi is closed at night for the Te Pōporo/Bulli Point sealing from 29 March, further resealing work will be done north of Turangi and also at Waitetoko.

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