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Desert Road to be closed

The second part of the concrete deck to be poured on the Waihohonu Stream Bridge.

People travelling through the Central North Island will have to take a different route on Thursday other than the Desert Road.

State Highway 1 will be closed for 36 hours from 7am Thursday until 7pm Friday to enable the second part of the concrete deck to be poured on the Waihohonu Stream Bridge.

The bridge was damaged in a crash last year.

NZ Transport Agency Waikato Transport Systems Manager, Karen Boyt, says anyone planning to travel on the Desert Road should check the Transport Agency website or phone the call centre because the closure will be weather-dependent.  

“This will be the last full closure and we’d like to thank people for their patience while we’ve carried out this necessary repair.

“People should expect delays on the detour route. Our website and social media will be updated so keep an eye on those, or call us on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) so you’re aware of what’s ahead of you."

The first closure was completed last month.

Outside of the closure times people can expect the bridge to be down to one lane, with some short closures of around 5 minutes. There is a 30km/h limit in place.

The bridge is expected to be open to two-way traffic without restriction from 3 May.

The detour route during the closure is SH46, 47, 4, and 49. This detour is not suitable for vehicles over 46 tonnes, apart from 50MAX which is permitted. High productivity motor vehicles can use the SH3 and SH3A route between Hamilton and Bulls.

Vehicles with over-weight loads or over-dimension loads wider than 3.0 metres have been unable to use the Desert Road section of SH1 since repairs started in February.

There are also multiple maintenance work sites on the Desert Road during this period and delays are possible at other sites.

The closure dates are subject to fine weather. Updates will be posted at the sites below.

People can check all current road closures here:

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