2 Mar 2017

Transport carriers frustrated by delay in fixing SH1

From Checkpoint, 5:09 pm on 2 March 2017

Freight drivers say work on State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura is not happening fast enough and contractors willing to do the work are being ignored.

The highway was badly damaged by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

The route south opened just before Christmas, but work on the northbound part of the highway is still ongoing. 

Peter Heagney, who is the Marlborough Road Carriers Association chairman and owns Heagney Brothers Transport, said the wait cost them money and valuable time.

"We're three months in there's, still, obviously the road's not open, yeah. Very frustrating."

"We're spent another three to four hours getting to Christchurch per truck," he said. 

It meant all drivers must stay a night in Christchurch, rather than get down and back in a day. 

"It's costing all of our customers a substantial amount more in freight."

Crews charged with clearing SH1, north of Kaikōura, "should be working round the clock, seven days a week, to get the road open, then go into normal mode".

"All we want is the road open. They can engineer how they want to fix it permanently later on."