Daylight has revealed a lengthy, active slip between Whataroa and Harihari on the West Coast.
State Highway 6 north of Franz Josef Glacier was closed in the early hours of this morning as a result.
Given the depth of material with large trees, soil, rocks and streams cutting across the highway, it is unlikely to be reopened until early next week, says Moira Whinham, Maintenance Contract Manager, NZ Transport Agency. Monday midday is the next update time.
Electronic signs advise drivers of the closure at either end of the highway – just south of Hokitika at the top of the road as well as Makarora and Lake Hawea at the Otago end.
Crew and equipment have been on the site since the early hours of this morning and more equipment and people are heading to South Westland to clear the slip.
It is estimated at 400 metres long, with debris several metres deep.
The road is not expected to be reopened until Monday 25 February.
There is no local detour available for State Highway 6 so drivers and residents are advised to check the Transport Agency’s updates on social media sites (see below) and the traffic notice on our website(external link).
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