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Ongoing maintenance for Manawatū Gorge, State Highway 3

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The NZ Transport Agency is advising that contractors will soon start maintenance work at the site of the 2011 Manawatū Gorge slip. The maintenance work involves clearing debris that has accumulated over time on the terraced sections of the slip.

“As part of our work clearing the slip in 2011 and 2012, the slip site was terraced (or benched) to stabilise the material above the road. We now need to clear some of debris from these terraces to prevent it from reaching and potentially blocking the road,” Ross I’Anson, Highway Manager, NZ Transport Agency says.

The work is planned to start on Monday 13 February, should be complete by the beginning of April, weather permitting. Site working hours will be between 6am and 6pm.

“As the work is being carried out on the slip itself, we’ll be able to keep the Manawatū Gorge Road open during most of the maintenance work. To help keep motorists safe, the contractors will have a team member at road level who will be able temporarily close the road if required,” Mr I’Anson says.

The slip site is near the main Manawatū Gorge Track, which will remain open to walkers. However the track from the Whatonga sculpture to the ‘Big Slip’ Lookout will be closed for the duration of the work.

“We ask that people using the Manawatū Gorge Track stay on the marked track, and be aware that there is heavy machinery operating in the area. We’ll have signage and, during working hours, people in place at the intersection of the Manawatū Gorge and Big Slip Lookout tracks to ensure that walkers can use  and cross the tracks safely.

“In 2011 and 2012, as well as clearing the slip, we put a lot of work into preventing further rock falls. This included wrapping sections of Manawatū Gorge’s slopes in protective netting to help contain minor rock spills, and building a rock fall protection fence. Throughout February and March we’ll also take the opportunity to maintain the rock fall netting at various places throughout the Gorge. This work will require temporary traffic management, including short term stop/go, and lower speed limits,” Mr I’Anson says.

Motorists can keep up to date on the status of the Manawatū Gorge through the Transport Agency’s website, social media channels, and electronic variable messaging signs at Ashhurst and Woodville.

For more information about the road maintenance work phone 0800 4HIGHWAYS or visit

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