More than half of the debris from the 5500m3 slip on State Highway 2 at the Waioeka Gorge has now been cleared, but the site remains active and more work is needed to get the road open.
An estimated 3000m3 has been cleared from both sides of the slip which fell following heavy rain on Friday.
Once the debris is cleared abseilers will need to scale the cliff to check for any loose rock. The rock may also need to be blasted away.
When the rock removal is complete and the site has been checked by engineers the road is expected to open to one lane.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Regional Director, Parekawhia McLean, says it may open by the end of the week but this is a fluid situation.
“Our priority is to get this road open as soon as it is safe to do so, but freezing temperatures and further rain are forecast which can cause more rocks to fall or become loose.
“We know the closure is frustrating for the community and people travelling over the school holidays but we are using as much resource as we can to open this road again,” Ms McLean says.
The information collected by the engineers will be used to determine if a longer term solution needs to be put in place at this particular slip site.
People can check our website(external link), call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or follow us on social media to get the latest road closure information.