Manawatu Gorge will remain closed this week as work continues to repair a damaged retaining wall, and another small slip is cleared, the NZ Transport Agency reports.
NZTA highway manager Ross I’Anson says a small new slip along State Highway 3 has left about 60 metres cubed of material on the road. He says this will be cleared by Friday.
“The slip is about 6.4 kilometres from the Woodville end of the Gorge and approximately 60 meters from the large slip that closed the gorge road on the 24th April,” he says.
I’Anson says progress is being made on repairs to a damaged retaining wall on the river side of the road near Kerry’s Wall, 4.5km from the Ashhurst turn off, which has been the site of several slips since the closure of the road on April 24.
“Geotechnical engineers are on site and a further update on a potential re-opening date will be provided at the end of the week,” he says.
“We understand how frustrating this closure is for everyone affected by it.
“Our crews are working hard to get the job done, and we’ll re-open the road as soon as we are confident that it is safe to do so.”
I’Anson says when the Gorge is reopened the NZTA will be implementing a regular monitoring programme to observe any changes to the rock slopes and surfaces to ensure the route remains safe for everyone using the road.
“With the Pahiatua Track and the Saddle Road continuing as the alternative routes while repairs to the gorge road are carried out, motorists are also being reminded to be patient, drive to the conditions and watch their speeds when driving through the communities along the alternate route,” he says.
People can check the latest information on highway conditions, delays and closures here or by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS [0800 44 44 49].