Hundreds of trucks, trailers and cars line up for hours near Clarence to drive into Kaikoura following the reopening of State Highway One this afternoon.
Locals line up near Clarence waiting to drive to Kaikoura.
Source: 1 NEWS
The road is now open from both the north and south.
A blessing by local iwi took place at dawn today to mark the official reopening.
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Source: 1 NEWS
Local iwi carried out the blessing and planted trees.
The coastal road between Picton and Christchurch has finally linked up today, just over a year since the Kaikoura region was rocked by a devastating earthquake.
The most formidable slips to the north of Kaikoura are now cleared, and the road repaired.
Project engineer Clark Butcher told 1 NEWS he's "ecstatic" to see the road reopen after the culmination of a massive task.
"We've literally moved mountains. One year, one month and one day, we've reconnected Kaikoura," he said.
The November 2016 quake saw a million tonnes of material dumped over 85 slips, writing off the road and rail links.
To date more than $500 million has been spent on the roading project and at its peak more than 1700 workers were on site.
Earthwork contractors, helicopters and abseilers have all worked together on a job that's seen many engineering feats.
"Our bridges team have built bridges faster than anyone in New Zealand history before," Mr Butcher said.
The road's reinstatement is what tourist operators all along the coast have been pining for.
Top 10 Holiday Park owner Ed Nolan said he's very excited because it has been a long time coming and it's "a weight of our shoulders".