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Friday opening expected for southern route to the West Coast

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The Transport Agency says it’s aiming to have State highway 6 between the Gates of Haast Bridge and Haast Pass Summit open by Friday.

A large slip at Diana Falls has kept the highway closed since Wednesday, 11 September.

Transport Agency West Coast Area Manager Mark Pinner says our geotechnical team carried out an inspection of the site this morning and were satisfied it was stable enough to again allow clearing work to resume this afternoon.

“The original slip was about 40 metres wide, but additional debris that has been washed down since then, has increased the slip width to almost 80 metres, and is much higher also. Debris is now piled higher on the road, bringing an added complication to clearing work”.

Mark Pinner says the forecast for the next few days is looking reasonably settled, but on Thursday more bad weather is forecast for the area. We will be working as hard as we can to get as much clearing work done between now and then.

We understand the importance of getting this road open again and the frustration of those who rely on it, with the setbacks in getting it open again. Provided there aren’t any further weather related setbacks at the site our focus is on getting one lane of the road open by Friday.

The latest on information on this slip and other highway conditions can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link), or by phoning 0800 444499. Roadside electronic signs will carry the latest updates on road availability, at Fox Glacier and Lake Hawea.

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