State Highway 4, between Raetihi and the intersection with Fields Track, remains closed while geotechnical investigations into the underslip that caused significant damage to the road continue.
The NZ Transport Agency is advising that due to the extent of the slip and the damage caused, it is likely the road will be closed for a significant time.
Transport Agency Manager, Journey Optimisation, Lance Kennedy says the safety of the public and workers is paramount.
“The site is still highly unstable and being treated as ‘still active’. For health and safety reasons, the site is closed off, with no access permitted until the slip has stopped moving.
“Geotechnical engineers are now assessing the site remotely using drones to determine the severity of the slip and the extent to which the surrounding land is also affected.
“Once these investigations are complete, it will be clearer what type of repairs will be required and what the approximate timeframe will be for reinstating the road,” Mr Kennedy says.
People are advised to factor in additional time for journeys through the area as State Highway 4 will remain closed until a suitable solution can be found.
“Finding a safe solution for reinstating the road will be a high priority, but given the scale and complexity of this slip a significant effort will be needed, and that will take time.
“We know the significant impact this closure is having for road users, businesses and locals, but the safety of road users and workers is paramount.
“We’re pleased that the issue was identified early and that the road was closed without incident, which is a testament to our local teams taking appropriate action and following health and safety protocols effectively,” Mr Kennedy says.
The recommended detour route is via State Highway 1 and State Highway 49, which will add at least one hour to the journey.
Road users should head to www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link) for live traffic updates.
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