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Manawatū Gorge to remain closed

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The NZ Transport Agency has confirmed that SH3 through the Manawatū Gorge will remain closed as work continues to assess the safety of the route around the site of recent slips.

Transport Agency Highway Manager Ross I’Anson says geotechnical engineers have been in the gorge inspecting the two slip sites while repair work has continued this week.

“The geotechnical engineers will be reporting back to us next week with a detailed assessment on the stability of these slip sites, confirming when conditions will be safe enough to allow traffic to travel through the gorge, and whether any additional work will be required.

“We understand that this lengthy closure and the uncertainty around re-opening is frustrating for everyone affected by it. We will re-open the road as soon as we are confident that it is safe to do so and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding of the difficulty in completing this work”.

Mr I’Anson says when the road is re-opened the Transport Agency will also be implementing a regular monitoring programme to observe any changes to the rock slopes and surfaces to ensure the route remains safe for everyone using the road.

With the Pahīatua Track and the Saddle Road continuing as the alternative routes while repairs to the gorge road are carried out, motorists are also being reminded to be patient, drive to the conditions and watch their speeds when driving through the communities along the alternate route.

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