The NZ Transport Agency is asking motorists to take care when driving in the vicinity of a recent slip on State Highway 23, just out of Raglan. NZTA State Highways Manager (Waikato/Bay of Plenty), Kaye Clark, says although the damage from the slip is not visible from the road when driving, it has made the road shoulder unstable. "That's why we have put road cones around that section of road shoulder, because we are very keen to ensure drivers avoid stopping alongside it."
However, Mrs Clark notes with concern that this morning the cones and signage were discovered to have been tampered with and pushed into the ditch nearby. "This is a safety concern to us and we would ask that people take note of and respect the NZTA's warning signs and markings in any maintenance area. Interfering with them creates a safety risk and people need to stay clear of them at all times."
"Buses can still use the existing bus stop (sited just before the slip area), as our contractors have assured us that the bus stop site is far enough away from the roadworks to avoid disturbing bus movements until roading repairs are completed," says Mrs Clark. However, she adds that car drivers should be extra cautious when dropping off bus passengers in that area, due to there being limited parking room around the bus stop itself. "A safer option might be for car drivers to drop off their bus passengers in Lorenzen Bay Road - a side road beside the bus stop on the same side as the road."
At this stage, the NZTA is monitoring the slip and is seeking geotechnical engineering advice on what work will be needed to restablise the area. Mrs Clark says once that information has been obtained, repair work will start as soon as possible to get the road shoulder back in action.