A section of State Highway 25, commonly referred to as the Thames-Coast Road, remains closed between Tapu and Waiomu after a large slip over 1,000 cubic metres came down at Ruamahanga last night.
The Thames-Coast Road was closed for the whole day yesterday and part of this morning for safety reasons while contractors worked to clear over 100 slips that had occurred previously. Some residents were allowed through to access their properties.
NZ Transport Agency Highways Manager Karen Boyt says the only closure that remains is at Ruamahanga but people should continue to drive with extra care as more could come down.
“As we’ve seen last night more slips can come down even after the rain has stopped. We appreciate that closing the road is very frustrating for people but it just wasn’t safe to let people through.
“Now that there is only one section closed we need people to continue to take extra care, reduce their speed and be prepared for unexpected hazards,” Ms Boyt says.
Sluicing by helicopter starts on the slip this afternoon and if that goes well diggers will move in tomorrow morning to begin clearing the slip over the weekend.
The road is likely to be closed for several days while the trees, mud, rock and debris are removed.
"We are in contact with the Transport Agency so that we are up-to-date with works and can provide consistent messaging to our residents and ratepayers," says Thames-Coromandel District Council Roading Manager Matt Busch.
"We appreciate there is an amount of frustration and we recommend people use the traffic and travel route planner on the Transport Agency website before starting out on their journey."
A Taste of Matarangi Food and Wine Festival is still going ahead, and those travelling to the event should use the SH25A route (Kopu-Hikuai) and allow extra travelling time and expect some delays.