Work crews are now able to access the entire coastal corridor north of Kaikōura for the first time since the November 2016 earthquake.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges said teams working from the north and south of the significant slip at Ohau Point met up yesterday, a milestone in the effort to restore the road and rail links to Kaikōura.
"Construction crews now have access to the entire stretch of the coastal corridor north of Kaikōura which will greatly speed up the reinstatement of this important route," he said.
"Crews are now establishing a construction track around Ohau Point, which will allow work crews to enter a new phase of reconnecting State Highway 1, which includes the installation of around 9000 square meters of steel mesh 'drapes' to protect the area from further rock falls and will allow the clearance of rocks close to the road level that have been previously inaccessible."
Mr Bridges said North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) teams had been working very hard to get to this point, and with Ohau Point now opened up to construction vehicles the pace of repair work to open the road was expected to accelerate.
"NCTIR crews have now cleared seven of the nine major slips that buried parts of SH1."
Mr Bridges said based on current progress crews remained on track to restore transport links to Kaikōura and its surrounding communities by Christmas.