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Boom, Boom – Rock clearing works coming soon for State Highway 6 Dellows Bluff

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Residents and regular users of State Highway 6, Dellows Bluff, near Murchison, can expect a bit of noise and some traffic delays from Monday, 5 December.

Mark Owen, Regional Manager Lower North Island/Top of the South Island, says contractors will be hard at work on the rock face responsible for rock falls that closed the highway in late July, earlier this year.

(Image: SH6 Dellows Bluff rockfall, July 2022)

 "This will involve some rock-blasting to remove unstable rocks and material from the cliff above the highway. We need to remove this rock to reduce the risk we saw in July, when some huge boulders fell onto the road. That's a driving hazard no one wants to see or tolerate."

Mr Owen says because blasting is involved, the road will have to be closed for safety reasons.

"We can't have traffic going through the works site while this is happening. But the work crews are making sure the closures will be short, ensuring that road users' delays are kept as short as possible."

Works Schedule:

  • Monday 5 December – Wednesday 7 December, 6 pm to 8 pm
  • The road will be closed at these times while blasting, and rock clearance work is done
  • The road will be open to all traffic outside working hours but will be restricted to a single lane managed by traffic lights and 30km temporary speed restrictions. This is due to the drop-out sites adjacent to the rockfall area.
  • No detours are available.
  • Emergency services will have access through the site if required
  • It is expected the works will be completed within three nights. However, if required, the limited nighttime closures may extend to Friday, 9 December.

Mr Owen says further work is also planned for the adjacent underslip.

“We know residents and regular users of State Highway 6 are keen to see this section of road returned to two lanes as soon as possible. Pile driving work has begun at the site this week and is expected to go through until Christmas. We do want to get this piece of road returned to two lanes as quickly as possible”

Waka Kotahi wants to thank residents and road users for their cooperation and patience while this vital maintenance work is done. Drivers are also asked to respect road work signs and temporary speed limits. This is for their safety and that of our work crews.

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