The NZ Transport Agency is advising that SH35 at Cape Runaway, approximately 115km east of Opotiki will remain closed until early next week
NZ Transport Agency Regional Transport Systems Manager Rob Campbell says contractors are working hard to clear around 4000m3 of material that came down, so the road can be re-opened safely as soon as possible to motorists.
“There is still a further 1000m3 of the cliff face, including large boulders, that remains unstable. Explosives will be used to bring this remaining material down. This work will be carried out later this week.
“The safety of our people on site and the safety of motorists is our highest priority and we want to remind those in the area that protective cordons will be in place to prevent the public accessing within a 500m radius of the area.
“Because the slip site is so unstable and the explosives are potentially hazardous we are unable to create a detour around the slip during the time of the blasting.
“Once our geotechnical engineers are satisfied that all at-risk material has been dislodged from the cliff face, work will be done to repair the slope and install rock-fall barriers,” says Rob.
The road is expected to re-open to one lane early next week however, once the blasting is complete we will have a much clearer idea of when we will be able to safely re-open to motorists.
The NZ Transport Agency thanks road users for their understanding and patience.
“Following on from the recent closure of Waioeka and Waimana Gorge, we understand the impact to communities of this vital route being closed. However, we ask motorists to respect the need for the road closure and the safety restrictions which are in place.
“We understand the only alternative route is through the Waioeka Gorge (SH2) and want to reassure motorists that we are committed to keeping this route open,” says Mr Campbell.
The Transport Agency will continue to provide updates including any significant weather events that could result in road closures in this area via social media and the NZ Transport Agency website.
Motorists are urged to check the Journey Planner www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link) before a trip, or to register with On the Move www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link) to receive alerts about changes to selected state highways.