Highway maintenance crews continue to clear an active (ie still occurring) slip at Lyell on the Upper Buller Gorge, SH6, says Moira Whinham, Maintenance Contract Manager for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency on the West Coast.
The highway has been closed since Sunday when torrential weather set off the slip with a subsequent detour into Westport via state highways 65, 7 and 69 (see map below and link).
“The slip continues to be highly active with ongoing wet weather. We have maintenance crews working on site to clear and monitor the slip and will reopen the highway to single lane traffic as soon as it is safe to do so,” says Miss Whinham.
“We will assess conditions again Friday morning, and provide an update Friday at midday to confirm our ongoing actions. Once we are able to open the road, openings will be restricted to daylight hours, 8am to 5pm to allow us to monitor any activity over the day.
“We may need to maintain this schedule for a week or so until slip activity has decreased,” says Miss Whinham.
Once the daytime openings are confirmed, overnight drivers in and out of Westport will need to stick to the detour route through the Shenandoah and the Lewis Pass. The detour is the way to access Westport from the north and east in the meantime.