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Drone used to investigate SH35 slip on East Cape

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A drone has been used to capture video and images of a slip on State Highway 35 in the East Cape, as the NZ Transport Agency investigates solutions to keep the road open.

Slip at State Highway 35

Slip at State Highway 35

The 130 m wide slip has reduced SH35 at Maraenui Hill, between Opotiki and Te Kaha, down to one lane over the past two weeks and the cliff face above the road remains unstable.

The Transport Agency’s Bay of Plenty highways manager, Niclas Johansson says some slip material has been used to widen the road and create a new lane to allow traffic to go through safely, and the Transport Agency and its contractors are working hard to get two temporary lanes open.

“Geotechnical experts have been investigating the site, using the drone to get a bird’s eye view of the top of the slip and the surrounding cliff safely,” Mr Johansson says.

“We expect to have an understanding of the situation in the next week or so, then we will start looking at the best long term solutions.”

One lane is open with stop/go traffic management in place. Contractors are working to clear the slip to create temporary access and the aim is to have two lanes open to traffic this weekend.

“It is the school holidays and we know there are a lot of people travelling around the beautiful East Cape,” Mr Johansson says.

“We are doing everything we can to keep the road open and allow people to get to their destinations safely and on time.

“Contractors are monitoring the site 24 hours a day and safety is our top focus.”

The NZ Transport Agency advises motorists travelling on SH35 to check road conditions before leaving home.

For the latest highway information check the Transport Agency’s website: www.nzta.govt.nz(external link)

or sign up to www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link) or up-to-date information on what is happening on the route you plan to travel.

You can also freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS for national and regional travel updates and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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