Newspaper Article 1966 – Titiokura deviation to open tomorrow

Titiokura deviation to open tomorrow

With the raising of two barriers tomorrow morning, the Ministry of Works will eliminate one of the worst sections of the Napier-Taupo highway – the tortuous north-western side of the Titiokura Saddle.

Traffic will be able to use a giant deviation for the first time when barriers at both ends are raised about 9.15 am.

Wet weather in the past few days had prevented the whole deviation from being sealed, the Ministry of Works district engineer, Mr R.D. Grant, said today.

The 30 chains of unsealed surface would, however, be “perfectly all right,” he said.

It was unlikely that this section could be sealed before the Winter proper, “but sealing is not completely out of our minds. We might get a dry spell. It would take some weeks to clean up the area.”


The first vehicle to use the new deviation would be a bus bound for Wairakei, he said.

The Titiokura Saddle is where the highway crosses the Maungaharuru Range about 33 miles north-west of Napier.

A huge improvement project on the Taupo side of the new deviation has been in use for some time.

The complete Titiokura scheme will have grades no steeper than one in 11 – a feature to be welcomed by heavy traffic.

The twisting, steep section to be replaced by the deviation has always been a hazard, particularly in wet weather.  It has grades of one in seven.


With the near completion of the Titiokura deviation the focus of attention on the highway will be Stoney Creek and the mammoth Runanga deviation.

Work at Stoney Creek, where the highway consists of some of the worst grades on the whole route is well under way.

Involving 3,000,000 cubic yards of earthworks, the Stoney Creek project is expected to be finished by next Christmas.

It has involved the installation of probably the biggest semi-elliptical culvert of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

The first formation contract for the Runanga deviation, about 36 miles south-east of Taupo, will be called soon. It will be for the formation of 1.5 miles at the Napier end. Tenders closed last month for a clearing contract, mainly in the middle section.

Tenders will probably be called in September for the formation of two miles at the Taupo end. Surveyors are working in this section.

MR A. I. KENNARD, secretary of the Automobile Association (Hawke’s Bay), with traffic signs to be positioned today on the Titiokura deviation which is to be opened this week. Mr Kennard is holding the first sign of its kind to be used in Hawke’s Bay. It tells motorists the three-lane road is changing to two-lanes.

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Napier-Taupo Road

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Newspaper article

Date published

11 May 1966


The Daily Telegraph


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • R D Grant
  • A I Kennard

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