A day on from its opening the temporary diversion route through the Waioeka Gorge near Gisborne continues to have a steady gradual flow of traffic through the specially created one-lane road.
NZTA Bay of Plenty state highway manager Brett Gliddon said the NZTA since the single-lane temporary diversion route opened at 9am yesterday many motorists have been making the most of this access despite anticipated delays and a 30km/h speed restriction.
"We are seeing about 50 cars per/hour going through the temporary road and there has been no significant delays so far, we seem to have a maximum of 3 cars queuing on either side of this road waiting to get through".
He says it is nice to see motorists showing their appreciation to the crew onsite.
"Drivers have been complimentary to our crew managing the traffic, there has been plenty of toots and smiles showing just how much they appreciate having access through the gorge again".
Mr Gliddon says while the slip face still remains stable the temporary diversion road will continue to be open from 8.00am to 5.30pm daily.
"We continue to assess and survey the slip face daily to detect potential slips or rock falls, so far there has been no sign of any movement and we hope that continues."
Mr Gliddon says contractors will be monitoring closely the impact of expected heavy rain and winds next week.
"We know that bad weather is expected next week and we have prepared the road as much as we can from this sort of event, but we will continue to watch closely its impact on this road and the slip face to ensure it remains safe for motorists particularly as we near the Easter Holidays".
Mr Gliddon says work to provide a long term stability plan for the slip face will continue including the removal of material from the state highway.
"The temporary diversion road will provide immediate access through the gorge, however our work continues to ensure that slip face remains stable long term when we have removed the material off the state highway and re-opened it".
In the meantime, the NZTA continues to recommend to motorists to check conditions by visiting www.nzta.govt.nz/waioeka-gorge(external link) before planning their journey through this temporary road that this temporary road.
For more information please contact:
Senior Engagement and Communications Advisor
DDI 07 928 7908
M 021 021 67217