Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises that State Highway 25 between Hikuai and Opoutere will re-open overnight under stop/go traffic management from approximately 7pm – 9am.
The road is still only available to light vehicles.
“Road users should be prepared that we may have to close the road at any point if there is additional cracking or damage overnight,“ says Cara Lauder, Waka Kotahi System Manager for the Waikato.
“Waka Kotahi contractors have prioritised increasing the width and length of the cut into the bank to help safeguard the access track today.
“Arborists have removed vegetation between the edge of the cut face and the start of the pine plantation.
“We want to keep traffic as far away from the underslip as possible and ensure it’s safe,” Ms Lauder says.
Convoys were allowed through for short periods today to help relieve some pressure on the community, but we needed to keep the road shut for the majority of the day to ensure we got as much work done as possible.
Road users should expect a similar pattern tomorrow. The road will close again from around 9am to continue the benching works into the bank. It will re-open for an hour around lunchtime to give drivers a short window to get through.
“The underslip is unstable and we appreciate everyone’s patience with this evolving situation. We understand how frustrating it is.
“We’re working as fast as possible to give road users a safe way through here,” Ms Lauder says.
Geotech investigations continue tomorrow and will help inform a permanent fix for the section of the highway that has fallen away.
The road was originally closed early Monday morning following a washout caused by heavy rain over the weekend.