An historically active slip between Greymouth and Stillwater at Omoto, which moved after weeks of wet weather in mid-August, has moved another 300 mm from 8 am today - Wednesday, 2 October.
As a result, the Transport Agency has closed this section of State Highway 7 overnight for everyone’s safety.
In the 36 hours to Tuesday morning the slip had moved 120mm with heavy rain in Greymouth continuing throughout today increasing the slip’s movement again.
A detour in place via Taylorville on the north side of the Grey River is at the Cobden and Stillwater bridges at each end and adds a few minutes to the overall journey on SH7, the route to Reefton, says Transport Agency Maintenance Contract Manager for the West Coast, Moira Whinham.
People living locally at Kaiata will need to loop back to Stillwater to get to Greymouth overnight, she says.
The highway will be reassessed before 2 pm Thursday and a decision made then on whether to reopen it Thursday afternoon. Even if it does open to one lane then, the highway will be closed from 7 pm Thursday to 10 am Friday.
Geotechnical investigations have been undertaken and a drilling rig has been in place taking samples at the slip in recent days with results still to be completed.
Crews re-ramped the highway this morning after the earlier movement and have been monitoring the situation closely throughout.
The Transport Agency thanks all drivers for their patience while this land movement is underway and for taking care on the Taylorville route.
SH 7 Reefton to Greymouth road closure updates here: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/270371(external link)
Update: Thursday, 3 October, 9.24am
This slip at Omoto has continued to move overnight Wednesday night to Thursday morning and we will update at midday Thursday on whether one lane will reopen for Thursday afternoon.
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