The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) expects that State Highway 29 (SH29) at Ruahihi Bluffs will be fully reopened following a final inspection tomorrow morning after the blasting work to remove a column of unstable rock was successfully completed on Saturday.
This section of SH29 just west of Tauranga (over the Kaimais) reopened to one lane late Saturday afternoon after the work was completed ahead of schedule which meant that the NZTA did not need to close the road on Sunday as planned.
NZTA’s Bay of Plenty state highway manager, Brett Gliddon, says the cliff would be reassessed tomorrow after the forecasted rain for today disperses, as it is likely that some minor residual material may be washed out by the wet weather.
“This is just a precautionary measure, to allow any small material to come down naturally and we can then inspect the cliff again to ensure that there are no other unstable areas before reopening both lanes some time tomorrow.”
Mr Gliddon wants to thank drivers, local businesses and residents for their patience and support during the Ruahihi works over the last two weeks and says the agency has been very humbled by the understanding shown by those who have been inconvenienced in some way.
The NZTA encourages travellers to plan for their journeys, go to www.nzta.govt.nz(external link) or ring 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to find out the latest information on detours or road closures before you start your trip.