No truck rumble in town
Life is largely back to normal in Ashhurst with the diverted Manawatu Gorge traffic largely a memory for residents of the town.
During the 15 months State Highway 3 through the gorge was closed, Ashhurst was part of the main detour route over the Saddle Rd.
This led the NZ Transport Agency to realign several intersections in the town, changing what traffic had right-of-way.
The largest change was at the intersection outside the Commercial Tavern. Owner Klayton Blades said in August he was being woken most nights by trucks using engine brakes outside the tavern, where he also lives.
"It's a bit hectic. It's a bit noisy and I can't wait for the gorge to reopen," he said at the time.
Work on the gorge finished last week, with traffic able to use the road in both directions 24 hours a day for several weeks now.
Mr Blades said the difference was like night and day.
"It's all back to normal and it's really good."