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Southern route to the West Coast expected to re-open tomorrow

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State highway 6 between the Gates of Haast Bridge and Haast Pass Summit which has been closed since early Wednesday by a large slip at Diana Falls is expected to re-open early tomorrow afternoon, Monday 16th September.

Transport Agency West Coast Area Manager Mark Pinner says overnight the slip face has remained fairly stable. Good progress is being made using the helicopters to sluice the face and stabilise or push larger rocks to a point of safety. This work will continue throughout today.

“Provided there aren’t any further weather interruptions or unexpected ground stability issues at the site, we are targeting having one lane of the road operating by early tomorrow afternoon. The workforce on site have done a great job working throughout the weekend to make sure that we open it as soon as possible.”

Mark Pinner says once the road is re-opened, there are likely to be restrictions during the day, and there will be overnight closures for a period. If there is more bad weather further closures may be necessary, even during the day. On-going monitoring will be necessary to manage the site for some time he said.

Whilst we are aiming to have the road open early tomorrow afternoon, a final decision on this depends on the results of an inspection of the slip site by our geotechnical engineers.

The latest on information on this slip and other highway conditions can be found at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link), or by phoning 0800 444499. Roadside electronic signs will carry the latest updates on road availability, at Fox Glacier and Lake Hawea.

Meanwhile, storm damaged State highway 94 from the Hollyford turn-off to Milford Sound re-opened this morning. Extreme care is needed due to pavement damage and the narrow carriage way on some sections of the road and motorists, should allow extra travel time to account of this. The road will be closed overnight between 5.30pm and 7.30am tomorrow.

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