The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) says State Highway 29 (SH29) at Ruahihi Bluffs will be reopened from 6.00pm this Saturday (18 August) to allow night time travellers to pass through the area, when work to remove unstable rock is stopped for the day.
State Highway 29 at Ruahihi Bluffs west of Tauranga will be closed for most of Saturday and Sunday to allow workers to remove unstable rocks from the bluffs which were undermined by heavy rain and storm conditions over the last eight weeks which caused small rock falls last Sunday.
The NZTA closed SH29 at the bluffs on Sunday (12 August) to remove some overhanging rocks and to assess the stability of the bluffs. This section of the road is now open to one lane with an earth bund put in place to protect road users from further rock falls while more permanent works to stabilise the bluffs are completed.
Bay of Plenty state highway manager, Brett Gliddon, says that while SH29 will be closed during the day, outside of these hours measures will be put in place so drivers are able to use this section of the road safely.
The road will be closed between 7.00am to 6.00pm Saturday and 7.00am to 6.00pm Sunday, during this time a detour via Poripori Road will be in place.
"It is not ideal to have a busy state highway such as this one closed for this length of time, and we appreciate that this will cause some travellers inconvenience, however this is essential work to protect road users from further possible rock falls and it does need to be undertaken immediately."
Mr Gliddon says before starting their journeys people should check with the NZTA's freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or 0800 44 44 49, or its website for up-to-the-minute info on road conditions.