The NZ Transport Agency says it’s making progress on stabilising the big slip that’s closed State Highway 11 in Northland, but the road won’t be open for Easter.
Crews are working from the top of the slip to clear loose material, but the work has been constantly interrupted by bad weather.
A plan to use explosives on the slip is still going through a review of health and safety processes and geotechnical analysis.
“We have considered opening the road for a time at the start and end of the day, but there’s a risk that loose material could fall on to the road at any time,” says the Transport Agency’s Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.
“Our crews are working as fast as safely possible given the complexity of the slip, the difficult access and the weather interruptions. We’re conscious of the importance of the link to the Bay of Islands for locals and tourists and we’re working to reopen the road as soon as we can.”
Heavy rain brought down the slip on Lemon’s Hill on February 13, closing SH11 between Paihia and Kawakawa.
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.
The Transport Agency apologises for the inconvenience and thanks local communities and visitors to the region for their understanding and patience during this time.
Stay informed on the progress of clearing this slip at www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/sh11(external link) or on the NZTA Auckland and Northland Facebook page.