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Road crews to use explosives on the Lemon’s Hill slip that’s closed SH11


Road crews are preparing to use explosives to help clear the huge slip that’s closed State Highway 11 between Paihia and Kawakawa in Northland since Tuesday 13 February.

They’ve got to the point where the use of dynamite blasting is now a safe, viable option for moving a lot of the remaining loose material from the hillside in a controlled manner, says the Transport Agency’s System Manager Steve Mutton.

  • “There is still a significant amount of earth and rock sitting above the roadway. We’ve been constantly reviewing our approach to clearing the slip and we’re now in a position to change the method and bring a lot of the remaining loose material down the face of the slip.”
  • “This will help get the road open as quickly as possible. “
  • “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.”

“We can start blasting this week and we’re still hoping to let traffic through the area sometime in the next 2-3 weeks as planned,” says Mr Mutton.

A further update will be provided closer to the time.

The signposted detour between Kawakawa and Paihia is via State Highways 1, 10 and 11. The detour will add another 10–20 minutes to the journey.

The Transport Agency thanks motorists and visitors to the region for their understanding and patience during this time.

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Road crews working to clear the huge slip and stabilise the hillside

Road crews working to clear the huge slip and stabilise the hillside on Lemon’s Hill where the slip has closed SH11 between Paihia and Kawakawa since February 13

Road crews clearing the huge slip and stabilise the hillside on Lemons Hill