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Major rockfall - State Highway 36

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The NZ Transport Agency is investigating a major rockfall which occurred shortly after 8am today at the site of roadworks on SH36/Pyes Pa Road in the Mangorewa/Kaharoa Gorge, between Tauranga and Rotorua.

The NZ Transport Agency is investigating a major rockfall which occurred shortly after 8am today at the site of roadworks on SH36/Pyes Pa Road in the Mangorewa/Kaharoa Gorge, between Tauranga and Rotorua.

Several vehicles were struck by debris.

NZTA and Rotorua District Council staff are on site to assess the situation and assist police and emergency services.

The road has been closed to traffic between 9am – 4pm every weekday since June 12 while work has been carried out to increase the width of the road.

This work has included rock blasting operations. While the rockfall this morning was in the vicinity of blasting operations, it is not yet known if the rockfall was related to blasting operations. No blasting has occurred since Tuesday 28 July. NZTA has begun an investigation into the incident.

Geotechnical specialists are now on site to assess the stability of the gorge before any decision is made on re-opening the road.

NZTA’s immediate focus is on helping police and emergency services to offer assistance to motorists affected by the rockfall.

A further update will be issued as more details become available.

For more information please contact:

Andy Knackstedt
NZTA Media Manager
T 64 4 894 6285 
M  0212 763 222  
andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

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