There is some good news for people who drive between Alexandra and Cromwell on State Highway 8: the slip near Deadman’s Point bridge which has slowed traffic over the past fortnight has been stabilised in recent days, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Waka Kotahi crews have had helicopters sluicing the slope to bring down loose material, followed by diggers and an abseiling team dislodging fissured rocks, for the past two weeks.
“There was no major movement of the slip over the weekend,” says Waka Kotahi Maintenance Contract Manager Mark Stewart.
Crews have been able to “bench” the slopes above the road to create landing areas for rock and reduce the energy of any of the schist rock making its way to the ground, where there is a rockfall fence and a line of containers protecting road users.
“This week, the benching works continues,” says Mr Stewart.
“The work focus now is about moving the slip material safely to the ground. In the following weeks, the rocks will be moved off site and the rockfall debris fence reinstalled, before we remove the container barriers.
“The speed restrictions and road cones will remain in place until the catch fence is fully restored and the containers removed – another fortnight or so. But, delays for road users should be much shorter than over the past fortnight. Thanks to all drivers for being patient and for continuing to slow around crews.
“Given the significance of this stretch of highway in Central Otago, along the Cromwell Gorge, with no comparable detour route, it will be good to have this road stabilised and back to business as usual in a fortnight or so,” says Mr Stewart.
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