The NZ Transport Agency is advising SH35 Cape Runaway, approximately 110km east of Opotiki, will remain closed until early next week due to a large slip.
Bay of Plenty Systems Manager Rob Campbell says contractors are on site working to clear the slip where around 4000m3 of material fell on Sunday evening.
Mr Campbell says geotechnical engineers are also assessing the stability of the site.
"Initial assessments show that the site remains unstable to the left of the main slip there is an area where around 1000m3 of material is showing cracks and could also fall down onto the road. This area will potentially need to be blasted to remove the remaining unstable rock and materials. The slip contains a lot of large fractured rock which is hazardous to road users, and we need to ensure the area is safe.”
Mr Campbell says the NZ Transport Agency is committed to re-opening this vital route and reconnecting communities as soon as possible, and contractors are working hard to get the job done. Mr Campbell says while the road will be re-opened as soon as possible, the safety of workers and road users will not be compromised.
“We understand that the only alternative route is through the Waioeka Gorge (SH2) and we are committed to keeping the gorge route open. However, there is always a chance that if there is a heavy rain fall things may change, and if they do we will let motorists and communities know as soon as possible” says Mr Campbell.
Please be aware that the slip that occurred on SH2 Waimana Gorge is still being worked on and is currently open to one lane. We advise everyone to drive with extra care in this area.
The NZ Transport Agency wishes to thank motorists for their understanding and patience.
We will continue to provide updates on our social media and the NZTA website.