Queen Charlotte Drive, from Picton to Havelock, will reopen to the public from 5pm tomorrow (Friday 21 October) in time for Labour weekend and the region’s first cruise ship visit of the season next Wednesday.
Parts of Port Underwood Road have also reopened this week, with Waikawa Bay to Whatamango Bay and Rarangi to Whites Bay open to the public. This will be extended at the Picton end to Oyster Bay at 5pm tomorrow following final safety checks.
Marlborough Roads Manager, Steve Murrin said the reopening of these key routes means over 370km of road has been restored to public access after being severely damaged by the August 2022 storm event.
“While these roads have reopened, we ask drivers to continue to travel with caution,” Mr Murrin said.
“We expect roads throughout the district will be busy over Labour weekend and Marlborough Anniversary weekend. Drivers should be aware that traffic management including some stop/go restrictions remain on roads that have reopened and delays are to be expected.”
Newly elected Marlborough Mayor, Nadine Taylor said the reopening of the roads, especially in advance of the cruise ship and tourist season will be welcome news for many.
“This is a significant milestone in the recovery effort and our thanks go to the roading crews who have put in a huge effort to reopen these roads as quickly as possible,” she said.
Locals and visitors are reminded that there are still a number of roads that are closed, or have restricted access in place following the August weather event. Travellers are urged to check the Marlborough CDEM map for a roads status before their journey at: www.marlborough.govt.nz/civil-defence-emergency-management/cdem-official-public-information-map
One road that is temporarily closed this long weekend is the Department of Conservations’ Acheron Road through Molesworth Station. This section of road closed at 7pm tonight and will reopen at 7am on Tuesday 25 October to allow for possum control work by the Department of Conservation to be undertaken.