The Transport Agency has begun assessing the impact of this morning's earthquake on the state highway network in Canterbury.
Canterbury operations manager Peter Connors said initial inspections show the region's roads appear to have held up well but the full extent of any damage is not known.
"Our immediate priority is ensuring the safety of road users. While most state highways in the region are open, we are asking people to take extra care and be very cautious if they do need to drive," Connors said.
He said the major focus over the next few days would be ensuring that obvious damage to state highways is repaired as quickly as possible and contractors are already out flattening humps in the road and working on damage to some bridge abutments.
All state highways in and around Christchurch are usable.
The Lyttelton Tunnel has been assessed for structural integrity and given the all clear while key bridges on State Highway 1 over the Ashburton and Rakaia Rivers to the south of Christchurch and across the Waimakariri River north of Christchurch are operational.
A large slip south of the Rakaia Gorge is being cleared and it is anticipated that this road will be open to a single lane of traffic by nightfall.
Information on earthquake damage to state highways in Canterbury will be regularly updated or is available by phoning 0800 44 44 49.
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