The NZ Transport Agency says a helicopter carrying a monsoon bucket will drop thousands of litres of water above State Highway 2 (SH2) in the Waioeka Gorge today to help clear a major slip that is blocking most of the road.
The highway, which links Gisborne and Opotiki was closed at 5.30pm yesterday after a large amount of rocks and other material came down.
The slip, which occurred at the halfway point in the gorge, has also brought down a section of steel rock fall fence which will have to be cut up before it can be removed.
The Transport Agency’s Bay of Plenty highways manager, Niclas Johansson says Transport Agency contractors have worked hard to clear a small part of the road so that traffic can be let through however people should expect lengthy delays if travelling in the area.
'Our contractors have been working since early this morning to clear enough of a lane that we can let people through however it is under stop/go traffic management and there will be closures at times as the contractors need the space to continue clearing the slip,' he says.
'People should expect delays of up to 30 minutes if they are travelling through.'
Another update will be sent out later today.
Transport Agency contractors continue working to clear the large slip on SH2 in the Waioeka Gorge.
Work will stop at 5.30pm tonight and give way signs, similar to those seen on single lane bridges, will be in place overnight. Motorists are advised to drive with extra care and attention.
Contractors will be back at the site at first light tomorrow to continue clearing the slip and stop/go traffic management will be in place. Motorists are advised to expect lengthy delays at times.
The work to clear the slip is expected to take at least another full day.
For personalised information about driving conditions on their frequently used routes, motorists can check out and sign up to On The Move: www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link) .
For real time information on highway conditions and incidents or to report issues on the network visit www.nzta.govt.nz(external link) and click on 'traffic and travel', call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or follow the Transport Agency on Facebook or @nztawaibop on twitter.
People can also go to www.drivelive.nz/BayofPlenty(external link) and www.drivelive.nz/Tauranga(external link), dedicated websites that tell drivers what the current travel times are to get to key places around the Bay.