The NZ Transport Agency says it is working to re-open the section of State Highway 2 affected by a slip in the Waioeka Gorge 24hrs a day from Wednesday afternoon this week.
Transport Agency Regional Transport System Manager, Rob Campbell thanks motorists for their patience, however, due to heavy rain over the past 24 hours we now expect the gorge will open 24/7 from Wednesday afternoon this week.
“Our contractors have worked hard over the weekend through the wet weather but the fabrication of safety fencing has been delayed. Welding of the large steel sections and mesh could not be done in the wet, which means that several hours were lost on Sunday afternoon. We want to allow motorists as much time as possible to plan their journey and make alternative arrangements so are highlighting that overnight opening is likely to be achieved on Wednesday.”
Mr Campbell says the NZ Transport agency understands how important it is to get this vital route open 24 hours a day.
“We also want to remind motorists to drive to the conditions while travelling through the gorge at night and be aware that there is another short section down to one lane. A small area of the river bank has been eroded by the high river levels, we have closed one lane as a precaution to keep heavy vehicles away from the edge while a permanent fix is designed,” says Rob.
Since the initial slip came down on June 24, contractors have built a new lane to shift the road further away from the face of the slip site and are over the next few days they are finishing off the installation of barriers and fences before the road re-opens 24/7 this Wednesday.
Please remember that through until Wednesday the gorge will continue to open reduced hours. The outer closure points will be opened at 6:45am and then closed again at 4:30pm. This ensures that vehicles can pass through the slip site during daylight hours.