Things are progressing steadily at the Gorge which has closed State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Opotiki, says NZTA.
Already the site operation has been broken up into three activity zones, which are operating concurrently.
NZTA Bay of Plenty state highway manager, Brett Gliddon says excavators were brought in yesterday to create access tracks at the base of the slip.
"Slip material at the base of the slope face has been removed to create the tracks that will allow for movement of machines around the site and when the slip face has stabilised up the slope", says Mr Gliddon.
Geotechnical assessment are currently being undertaken to determine whether the slip face has stabilised enough to allow access tracks to be constructed up the side of the slope so excavators can start to remove slip material sitting at mid height of the slope face.
"The mass material sitting in the middle of slip face is made up of trees and a considerable amount of rubble, we are not able to create a track up the slope yet because the slip face still appears to be weak and so it is not safe for workers or machinery to do so", says Mr Gliddon.
Once the excavators are able to reach high up the slip face, it will be able to pull down the slip material down into chutes which will then be taken to deposit sites approved by the regional council by trucks that are on standby, says Mr Gliddon.
He says the access tracks will be completed today and further work to stabilise the slope face will continue so that access tracks can be constructed up the slope as soon as possible.
For up to date information on the Waioeka Gorge closure visit our website www.nzta.govt.nz/waioeka-gorge(external link).