The NZ Transport Agency says controlled openings of State Highway 11 past the Lemon's Hill slip will resume again tomorrow morning, earlier than expected.
The road’s been closed since Friday night and was expected to stay closed for the rest of this week after bad weather saturated the hillside and more unstable material was exposed.
However, Transport Agency Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult says the loose material will have been cleared by the end of today, sooner than expected.
“The team has had some good weather which has allowed the area to be stabilised again and we are pleased to be able to get the controlled openings under way again.”
SH11 will be open again to one way convoys of traffic in a single lane past the slip between 7.30-8.30am and between 4.30-6.00pm.
The road is closed at all other times while clearance of the February 13 slip continues.
The Transport Agency is also working with organisers of the International Rally of Whangarei, which starts on Friday. It will open the road specially to allow rally cars to transit from one stage to the next on Saturday.
“As always, the controlled openings are subject to daily checks of the hillside and the weather. Safety is our priority and the road could be closed again at short notice if necessary.”
“We want to have the road open as much as possible for locals getting to work or school because we understand the inconvenience and cost of using the longer detour route,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.
When SH11 is closed, motorists are asked to use the detour route between Paihia and Kawakawa via SH1, SH10 and SH11 (Pakaraka and Puketona Junction). Please allow an extra 30 minutes for the journey.
Locals can sign up at www.nzta.govt.nz/sh11-lemons-hill-slip to receive an email update on slip clearing progress and details of how and when the road will be reopened.