TODAY |

Arthur's Pass finally welcomes first traffic after huge landslip

The major road through Arthur's Pass partially opened today after a huge landslip had been blocking the road, triggered by last week's severe weather.

State Highway 73 is still officially closed, but access is being opened to the public for 10 minutes every hour. Source: 1 NEWS

Access to State Highway 73 was only allowed for 10 minutes every hour.

Crews have been battling stormy weather and the risk of more slips to get traffic moving.

For five days the massive slip halted traffic going both ways on one of the main routes to the West Coast, meaning an-hour-and-a-half longer trip for travellers through the already busy Lewis Pass.

The road was clearly in demand today and by lunchtime hundreds of vehicles had already crossed the divide.

There's clearly still a lot of work to be done. 

The road is expected to be open to two-way traffic by Friday. By then the crews are expected to have shifted around 50,000 cubic metres of earth. 

Workers are hoping another storm expected tonight won't bring the slip tumbling down again.