Heavy rain has caused a 60 metre long slip on SH3 near Awakino and the road is likely to be blocked until later tonight (Monday 16 July). An alternative route is available and it may take a number of hours for road crews to restore at least single lane access to the highway.
New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) Acting State Highway Manager, Karen Boyt, says the slip just east of the Awakino tavern is blocking both lanes. "Our road crews are aiming to clear single lane access by later tonight. In the meantime, there is an alternative route via Wanganui but it will add significantly to people's travel time," says Ms Boyt.
Ms Boyt says for this reason, rather than taking the alternative route, it may be more practical for people to wait to start their journey until much later today. "We hope to have single lane access in place by later tonight. There will be warning signs and traffic controls in place and we'd like to encourage people travelling through this area to please slow down, drive to the conditions and take extreme care."
Ms Boyt says the large amount of soil and debris on the road means that full clearance back to two lane access is likely to take another day or two. "We apologise for the inconvenience and any delays to people travelling through this section of SH3. We'd like to thank people for their understanding and patience while our crews do their best to get the road fully operational again as soon as possible."
Ms Boyt says NZTA contractors are aiming to reopen the road fully by Wednesday this week at the latest. "However there is a large amount of material and other debris on the road, so we will do our best to get this cleared while ensuring the safety of our road crews and motorists."
Alternative route information
For more information please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor
Engagement and Communications
Waikato/Bay of Plenty
NZ Transport Agency
DDI 64 07 958 7260
M 027 292 8076