The large slip which covered both sides of State Highway 6 north of Punakaiki on the West Coast at Meybille Bay yesterday may keep the road closed to traffic through Tuesday, 13 September, says the NZ Transport Agency.
An update will be provided before lunchtime Tuesday on when the highway can safely be opened to one lane.
The Transport Agency has 12 trucks at the site, six each side, with diggers. Of 2,500 – 3,000 cubic metres of rock and soil in total, around 1,000 cubic metres has been trucked away today, says Pete Connors, Transport Agency Regional Performance Manager.
The site was sluiced using helicopters this morning and crews are now transporting the material to a quarry near Fox River on the north side and to the Punakaiki Camping Ground area on the south side.
Drivers are advised to take SH7 via Reefton tonight and tomorrow. Check the Transport Agency’s Traffic and Travel map(external link) for updates if in doubt before leaving home.
Road blocks are in place south of Westport, at the intersection of State Highways 6 and 7, and Rapahoe, just north of Greymouth.