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State Highway 6 closed at Diana Falls by further slips

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Heavy rain over the weekend has brought more than 20,000 tonnes of rock and gravel down onto the road at Diana Falls closing State Highway 6 from Haast to Makarora.

More than 160mm of rain fell in the area overnight on Friday and into Saturday morning bringing rock and gravel down onto the road at the Diana Falls site where the highway was closed earlier this month, says the NZ Transport Agency's West Coast Senior Asset Manager Mark Pinner.

"The highway has been closed since yesterday morning and will remain closed to all traffic until at least mid-morning tomorrow, Monday 30 September.

"It is not just the rain on the slip face that is causing the problem but also how it feeds the waterfalls that are running over the face of the slip. This is making it difficult to stabilise the slip and get contractors on site to clear the road and get it re-opened to single-lane traffic." 

Mr Pinner says the rain had eased by late yesterday morning and an inspection of the site by helicopter was undertaken to ensure it was safe for contractors to begin clearing the road.

"We expect our contractors will get the road re-opened to single-lane access tomorrow morning, but this work is very dependent on there being no further rain and no further material falling on the road today or overnight."

He says an update on the road is expected about 10am tomorrow after a further inspection of the site.

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