State Highway 29 is closed in both directions after several containers fell from a truck earlier this morning.
Waka Kotahi Transport Agency says the containers fell from the truck about 500m south of the Kaimai Summit, spilling chemicals on the road.
The road is expected to remain closed for much of the day to enable clean-up, says a spokesperson for the roading organisations.
Waikato Regional Council told RNZ the truck spilled 3000 litres of sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda, and warned it may have entered a nearby stream. It advised anyone taking water downstream to exercise caution until more was known about the spill.
"Motorists are encouraged to delay their travel where possible," says the NZTA.
Detours are State Highway 36 and State Highway 5 via Rotorua or State Highway 27, State Highway 26 and State Highway 2 through the Karangahake Gorge and on to Tauranga.The containers on the Matamata side of the Kaimai Summit. Supplied photos.
"These detours will add considerable time to journeys and are not suitable for High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMV).
"Visit the interactive Journey Planner website (journeys.govt.nz) for up-to-date information on the road closures, detour routes and traffic in the area.
"Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience."
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: