Slip stabilisation a priority with road closures planned for SH2 north


State Highway 2 at Otoko Hill will have a ‘rolling closure’ on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 March next week, between 6.30am and 4.45pm. 

Waka Kotahi is advising motorists to plan ahead when driving between Gisborne and Ōpōtiki, with the road opening for 45 minutes every two hours to allow convoys through in each direction (see below for timetable). 

Waka Kotahi Regional Manager Jaclyn Hankin says the focus remains on addressing slips that are continuing to move or pose a risk of coming down. 

“There are two significant sites we’re prioritising, with a range of solutions being used. There is still a lot of loose material that needs to come down before the next significant rain fall.” 

One of the large slips has occurred where a block wall is already in place however, there is now 500-700 metres of additional slumping at the southern end of the wall. 

“The plan here is to reduce the water saturation levels by installing drainage pipes, which we need to get in as soon as possible to prepare for wet weather over winter.

“We’ll be able to open the road to two lanes past this slip site so that travellers aren’t restricted as we continue to monitor and work on this site over the coming months,” Ms Hankin says.

The second slip site needs cutting and benching which contractors will do during the road closure. 

Barriers have been ordered and will be installed at various slip sites for more resilience, so the road can remain open to two lanes. 

Work is also recommencing on Monday 20 March on a construction site that started in January to widen a shoulder as part of our SH2/SH35 Passing opportunities project.

However, because of a dropout occurring here during the cyclone, the widened shoulder will now become a temporary northbound lane. 

“We know these frequent closures and restrictions have been frustrating. We want to thank road users for their patience and feedback about the works and reassure them that it’s short term pain for long term gain,” Ms Hankin says.

The local Waka Kotahi team is also planning for extra maintenance works on the pavement over the coming months because of the increased traffic on the route. 

Drivers should plan for delays when driving between Gisborne and Ōpōtiki, and always check the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner for the latest conditions before leaving. 

Journey Planner(external link)

Closure details 

The road will be closed from just south of Hihiroroa Road to Waihuka Bridge No.4. During each half-hour opening, a pilot vehicle will lead the convoy for each direction. The convoy will take around 20 minutes both northbound and southbound. 

Wednesday 22 – Thursday 23 March 2023 

6.30am – 8.30am  


8.30am – 9.15am  


9.15am – 11.15am 


11.15am – 12.00pm 


12.00pm – 2.00pm 


2.00pm – 2.45pm 


2.45pm – 4.45pm  


4.45pm – 6.30am