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Southern route to West Coast at Haast Pass won't re-open today

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The Transport Agency has confirmed State highway 6 which has been closed since Wednesday by a major slip between the Gates of Haast Bridge and Haast Pass Summt, won’t re-open today.

Transport Agency West Coast Area Manager Mark Pinner says the major problem is clearing a 50 metre high slip at Diana Falls. Further inspection by technical engineering teams late yesterday and again this morning, show clearing the slip is more complex than initially thought.

“One of the major issues is safely bringing down three large boulders about the size of houses that are perched high up on the slip face. We need to get assurance that they are stable or if not they will be sluiced or blasted free. As debris is being removed from the highway between the Gates of the Haast and Haast Summit we are also seeing the extent of damage to the road pavement in this area”.

Mr Pinner says the situation will be reviewed again late this afternoon to try and give road users a better indication when this section of highway is likely to re-open.

We understand the importance of getting this important route open as quickly as possible and our contractors are doing their best to make this happen, All other routes to the West Coast Region are open  he said.

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

Meanwhile bad weather, avalanches and slips will keep State highway 94 from Lower Hollyford turnoff to Milford Sound closed again today. The Road closed early on Wednesday morning after damage caused by one of the worst storms seen  in the area in 25 years.

The Transport Agency says an update on when the road may re-open will be made tomorrow morning.

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