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Lemons Hill slip progress brings longer opening hours for locals

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The NZ Transport Agency says it’s increasing public access to State Highway 11 past the Lemons Hill slip with new road opening hours.

The road that links Paihia and Kawakawa will open tonight at 4pm and remain open overnight until 8.30am. There will be one lane open with stop/go traffic management in place.

From tomorrow, the road will be open overnight every week day from 4pm to 8.30am. It will be closed from 8:30am to 4pm to allow slip clearance work during the day.

“Our crews have been working hard to get the slip cleared and also open the road for local communities. We think the new opening hours are a good way of doing both and shows the progress we’ve made to stabilise the hillside. We are on track to have one lane open around the clock in the next couple of weeks” says the Transport Agency’s Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

The road will also be open this weekend.

“The weather forecast for the weekend is not good, so we’ll not be able to do any work on site that requires the road to be closed. So it will be open from 4pm Friday until 8:30am Monday morning to one way traffic under stop/go traffic control.”

“This means that the road will be open for those travelling to or from Paihia for the Mothers Day fun run and walk on Sunday.”

Excavators at work on the Lemons Hill slip

Excavators at work on the Lemons Hill slip on State Highway 11 between Paihia and Kawakawa.

A huge slip closed the road on February 13 and limited opening hours started on April 23. The daily convoys have been subject to checks of the hillside and the weather.

“Safety is our main priority and the road could still be closed again at short notice if necessary. We thank motorists for their patience and understanding,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.

Ms Hori-Hoult says there are still a couple of days of planned work that will require the road to be closed for extended hours while a crane works in the area. We will give advance notice of when that is planned.

When the road is closed, the sign posted detour is via State Highways 1, 10 and 11. With increased traffic on the detour, drivers should allow up to 30 minutes extra for the journey between Kawakawa and Paihia. We ask motorists to drive with care and to the road conditions, and to allow enough time to get to their destination safely.

Locals can sign up at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/sh11-lemons-hill-slip(external link) to receive an email update on slip clearing progress and details of how and when the road will be reopened. Or go to http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/sh11(external link)

SH11 Lemon’s Hill slip repair drone footage.

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