The New Zealand Transport Agency is advising that traffic has eased in Wellington after a slip led to the closure of south and northbound lanes of the Ngauranga Gorge.
All three southbound lanes remain closed this evening as contractors work to clear debris from this afternoon’s slip, as well as material following earlier sluicing operations which removed rocks that could have fallen onto the road.
Geotechnical engineers have been on site assessing the slip area to ensure the area is safe to open to traffic.
NZTA Wellington Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says contractors are on track to open two of the southbound lanes to vehicles tomorrow morning, subject to any potential problems caused by rain tonight, and final safety assessments.
A concrete barrier will be put in place around the lane closest to the slip site and there will be a temporary 50km/h speed limit in the area for at least the next few days, which will cause some further traffic delays for Wellington-bound traffic.
Mr Owen says all northbound lanes were opened at about 5pm this evening, after two of the lanes were closed in the afternoon to allow contractors to access the slip site.
He says disruptions from the slip caused huge traffic delays, which eased at about 7.30pm.
“We really appreciate the patience people displayed by delaying their travel and taking alternative routes.”
The southbound cycle lanes and pathway will be closed from the Newlands Interchange, to the bottom of Ngauranga Gorge. Those wishing to cycle or walk will have to do so by crossing the Newlands overbridge and make their way down on the opposite side of the Gorge.
Mr Owen says all southbound lanes of the Ngauranga Gorge will all be opened as soon as it’s safe to do so.
“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 keep up to date with the latest information, plan ahead, and if necessary, make alternative travel arrangements to get in and out the city, or delay travel to ease congestion problems, while the left hand lane remains closed.”