Posts for the second rockfall barrier fence across the Diana Falls slip face on State Highway 6, between Makarora and Haast township, have begun to be installed this week.
The first of the five six-metre high, 720kg posts were lifted onto site and into place late Monday afternoon.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Senior Network Manager Mark Pinner says all the posts for the second fence, being built about 150 metres up the slip face, are expected to be installed within the next week. Work will then begin hanging the five tonnes of high tensile steel mesh that will be draped between the posts across the slip.
“When the three rockfall barrier fences are completed at the end of next month, there will be more than 30 tonnes of steel mesh on the hillside in what will be the most complex rockfall protection system ever to be installed in Australasia.
“Each fence will have the capacity to stop a boulder weighing up to 16 tonnes which is travelling down the hillside at a speed in excess of 90km/h.”
Mr Pinner says with the recent good weather in the area, the team have made good progress on site.
“Work is underway drilling the last of the post holes for the second fence and they are nearing completion on fine tuning the tensioning of the mesh and cables on the first of the rockfall fences at the top of the slip face.”
He says weather permitting, it is expected work on the slip face will be completed by the end of next month; this will enable the road to widened at the bottom of the slip to re-open SH6 to two-way, 24/7 traffic in time for the start of the busy summer tourist season.
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