The New Zealand Transport Agency is advising that good progress is being made on clearing a slip on the southbound lanes of the Ngauranga Gorge in Wellington, but motorists should still expect significant travel delays in the region while work continues.
All three southbound lanes of the Ngauranga Gorge in Wellington will remain closed until tomorrow morning, as contractors work to clear the large slip and make the area safe for traffic.
NZTA Wellington Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says the Fire Service and helicopters with monsoon buckets have been sluicing water on to the slip area this afternoon, to remove any loose material which could otherwise fall on to the road.
Geotechnical engineers have also been assessing the area where the slip came down just after 12pm today.
Mr Owen says contractors are aiming to have two of the southbound lanes open to traffic tomorrow morning by about 6am, subject to final safety assessments. There will be a concrete barrier around the lane closest to the slip site and a 50km/h speed limit will be in place in the area for at least the next few days, which will cause some further traffic delays for Wellington-bound traffic.
With two of the three northbound lanes of the Ngauranga Gorge having been closed in order to allow contractors to access the site, traffic has been building up and there is heavy traffic there, as well as on the alternative routes of State Highways 2 and 58.
Hutt bound motorists are being advised to delay travel until later in the evening if possible.
All three northbound lanes of the Ngauranga Gorge are now open, but Mr Owen says it will take some time to clear traffic.
“We know this is a huge disruption for people and our crews are working hard to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. In the meantime we’re asking people to plan ahead, make alternative travel arrangements to get in and out the city, and delay travel if possible.”