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Authorities close Kaikoura relief-road

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/11/2016

Authorities have closed the only relief road into Kaikoura because of dangerous conditions.

Previously open to emergency and critical support services only, Canterbury civil defence advised on Thursday afternoon it was now closed to all vehicles until further notice.

Air and sea supply routes to the coastal town remain open.

The inland road from Culverden was cleared for military-grade 4WD vehicles on Wednesday after Kaikoura had been cut off when sections of State Highway 1 were badly damaged by slips.

"This is emergency access for military vehicles and other essential services under escort only. The road is still high risk and is not yet open to private vehicles," Transport Agency highways manager Neil Walker said on Wednesday.

"Crews have been working from both ends since Monday to clear slips and assess the road and structures for damage," he said.

He had said he hoped to have the route open to the public by the weekend.

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