Te Āpiti - Manawatū Gorge walking track will be closed for three days in May while work is undertaken to remove material from the permanently closed Big Slip Lookout.
The Lookout was opened in 2012 to allow the public to view the major slip site, which closed State Highway 3 through the Manawatū Gorge the previous year.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) closed the Lookout in 2017 due to safety concerns following further slip and weather damage in the area.
As part of the decommissioning process of the site, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency has agreed on a plan with DOC to remove the lookout materials and the existing track, which will be replanted by DOC at a later date.
Waka Kotahi Central North Island Regional Manager, Maintenance and Operations, Jaclyn Hankin says work will include breaking up the lookout material, including concrete blocks, to ready it for being airlifted by helicopter away from the area.
“We will have a helicopter lifting heavy materials over the walking track, so we need to close the area to the public to ensure we can do this safely. As this work is weather dependent, the closure will be for three days to give the teams a reasonable window for completion,” Ms Hankin says.
The track will be closed to the public between 8am and 5pm on Thursday 5 May, Friday 6 May and Monday 9 May. The track will be open on Saturday 7 May and Sunday 8 May.
There will be signs at both ends of the Gorge walk and staff will be stationed at the entrances at both ends of the track to let people know about the closure.
“We know the Gorge is a popular recreational track, and thank the everyone for their patience while we undertake this work.”