State Highway 6, from Haast to Lake Hawea, has re-opened to single-lane traffic this afternoon after a slip saw several massive rocks fall onto the highway early this morning closing the road to all traffic.
The NZ Transport Agency's Senior Asset Manager West Coast Mark Pinner says our contractors will remain on site until dusk, continuing to clear the slip and remove as much of the rocks and debris as possible.
" A significant number of large boulders fell on to the road 1km west of Clarke's Bluff. These are extremely large and we are having to blast most of them to be able to remove them from the highway.
"It is estimated 750 tonnes of rock has fallen. It will be blasted and removed to Burke Flat."
Mr Pinner says a geotechnical expert was flown on site early afternoon to check that the area had stabilised and that it was now safe for motorists to travel through the area.
"Our contractors will be on site again at first light tomorrow to keep working on clearing the road. Motorists are advised to expect delays as this work progresses throughout the weekend."
At this stage, Mr Pinner says it is not known what caused the massive rockfall.
Electronic sign updates are located on the highway at Lake Hawea and Fox Glacier. Updates are also available online at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) or by phoning 0800 4 HIGHWAYS 444 449.
For more information please contact:
Media Manager - Christchurch
NZ Transport Agency
T: 03 964 2885
M: 021 427 442