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Highway open . . . The highway south of Kaikoura will be open for the long weekend. File photo

By Robyn Bristow

State Highway 1, south of Kaikoura, will reopen to all traffic on Friday morning in time for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

“The North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery crews have been hard at work to reopen the route after a major slip at Easter closed the highway and railway near Peketa,” Mr Bridges says.

“The road and rail line have been temporarily realigned for 300 metres in order to open the route, and to assist in the wider reinstatement work between Kaikoura and Picton.

“During this time local residents have been particularly patient and understanding for what is a major construction operation,” he says.

The temporary track will also assist in the wider reinstatement by allowing trains carrying ballast and other items to move more efficiently up the line to assist with the recovery effort.

The road will be open to all vehicles during daylight hours, 7 am to 6 pm. There will be the need for some additional short term closures in the future as work continues for full reinstatement to take place.

“The Government’s priority is to restore the pre-earthquake transport links to Kaikoura and its surrounding communities, and ensure these vital links are resilient for the long term,” Mr Bridges says.