Wellington Scoop

A day of delays on SH1 after storm damages road and seawall


State Highway One was closed between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki early this morning because of storm damage – the high tide was washing across both lanes. One lane was reopened at 7am, with stop/go traffic control in place and very long delays in both directions.

The delays continued all day. At 8am, southbound traffic was backed up as far as Raumati and northbound queues were back to Pukerua Bay. At 10.30am, southbound queues were back to Mackays Crossing while northbound queues were back to the Whenua Tapu Cemetery.

And at 1pm nothing had improved: southbound queues remained back to Mackays Crossing and northbound queues were back through Pukerua Bay. NZTA then stopped reporting on the delays.

A hundred metres of seawall has been destroyed. Contractors are working on repairs which need to be completed before the road can be fully reopened.

The NZTA’s Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says the damage washed away the cycle-lane, footpath and threatened to undermine the road. He says every effort is being made to get the road back to two lanes.


“Contractors are working tirelessly to clear debris and reinstate the sea protections. They have to work very carefully to protect the main fibre connection to the North Island, which has been exposed”

“We have diversion plans in place for southbound light traffic over the Paekakariki Hill Rd and are discouraging northbound traffic from using this road apart from those who live along it.

“Northbound traffic will use the existing State Highway 1 route, but under a temporary reduced speed limit through the damaged section of road.

“Southbound trucks and larger vehicles will be held in stopping areas until afternoon peak traffic flows ease.”

“We understand the frustration some road users may feel, but rest-assured crews are working as quickly as possible to complete the reinstatement and shore up the sea defence along this critical section of SH 1.”

Around 14 truckloads of rock from the Transmission Gully Project, estimated to weigh 350 tonnes, have been delivered on site so far by articulated dump-trucks.

Work was to continue throughout the night. NZTA said the road would be ready for both lanes to be reopened in the morning, with speed restrictions. [It reopened at 5.30am.]

MetLink said trains on the Kapiti line (above the damaged road) were running on schedule.


  1. TrevorH, 21. February 2018, 17:57

    This shows how precarious Wellington’s situation is thanks to years of opposition to spending money on our roading infrastructure. Will we survive until Transmission Gully is opened?

  2. Elaine Hampton, 22. February 2018, 14:29

    This shows how precarious our whole infrastructure is due to a number 8 wire attitude and reliance on roads. The train along the coast should be ramped up. Everyone else can run a successful train service – oh but they are all subsidised!

  3. Ellen, 23. February 2018, 9:47

    Yes the train is still going thank goodness. But the tiny footpath has disappeared into the sea – I hope it will be repaired as the priority, because it is the only walking link from Pukerua Bay north.

  4. Cr Daran Ponter, 25. February 2018, 13:04

    Hi Elaine, From mid this year there will be more off peak services on the Waikanae line. The peak hour services are somewhat constrained by the fact that between Paekākāriki and Pukerua Bay the line goes down to single track and the line also needs to cater for freight trains – another job for the govt to fund?