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Karamea Highway closed overnight next week due to culvert replacement works

28 Sep 2023

Buller District Council will close the Karamea Highway next week to replace a damaged culvert crossing under the road. The construction site is located on the Karamea side of the bluff approximately 4km north of Corbyvale and 1km south of the Seven Sisters. 

During the closures, contractors will excavate the full width of the road to remove an existing damaged culvert, which will be replaced with a new larger diameter culvert in the same location. This is part of the overall repair solution for the highway at this location. 
The repair works require the highway to be closed at night from 6:30pm Wednesday 4 October until 5:30am Saturday 7 October, with traffic only able to pass through the work site during 15-minute openings which are set for 8pm, 10pm, midnight, 2am and 4am each night. 

Outside of these times, no traffic will be able to pass through due to construction machinery on the road. 

The road will re-open each morning at 5:30am through to 6:30pm that evening allowing traffic to pass through under single lane traffic management. 

Further daytime closures are expected the following week to complete the placement of 60 cubic metres of concrete required for the retaining wall. Dates and times have yet to be confirmed. 

A Variable Messaging Sign (VMS) has been placed just north of the Mokihinui River bridge. The static sign at Stone Kingdom will be updated and reinstated. 

Stakeholders were notified on Wednesday through an email, this includes accommodation providers, the Department of Conservation, local transport companies, emergency services, schools, and other impacted parties both locally and regionally. 

Emergency services have been advised to ensure that essential services can drive through when needed outside of the scheduled opening times. 

The road closure is displayed on the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Journey Planner to give people a heads up in planning their travel and to indicate the impact on their journey time.  

For any enquiries, to report issues or lodge a complaint, please contact Buller District Council on 0800 807 239 or 


The July 2021 and February 2022 rain events were wide reaching across the region with the Karamea Bluff and Denniston Roads particularly hard hit and suffering extensive damage. 

The Buller region relies heavily on the roading infrastructure with isolated communities requiring a safe and reliable road network for personal travel, for access for emergency services and for heavy vehicles to truck goods to and from these communities.  

Since the storm events, a team of engineers, designers and project managers have been working to identify the damage, provide engineered solutions, and cost estimates for discussions with Waka Kotahi which led to Waka Kotahi approving $13.2M funding support to council. 

In total approximately 150 damaged sites have been recorded through Buller’s local road network.  

You can find out more on Council’s website  


For further information please contact: 
Michael Duff  
Group Manager Infrastructure Services