Work to improve the safety of the unstable rock at Ruato Bay Rotoiti which reduced SH30 between Rotorua and Whakatane to one lane is progressing well says, the NZTA.
Severe weather conditions last month brought down material forcing the agency to reduce the state highway to a single lane while workers began the challenging task of removing loose rock from the cliff face.
This initial rock removal work was completed over the course of several weeks by workers who abseiled down the cliff face to clear the unstable rocks.
The work has now progressed to a monitoring phase to ensure the cliff face remains stable after the initial clearing.
The next stage of works over the coming months will see more permanent safety measures being progressed at the cliff face, while the full extent of these will be confirmed once the monitoring is completed, it is likely these will involve placing steel mesh and pinning of the remaining large boulders above the road.
The concrete barrier currently in place and the current traffic management system will remain during the coming months to ensure the safety of both motorists and workers at the site.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Rotorua District Council says safety of road users is paramount and SH30 will be fully reopened when the permanent safety measures are in place to minimise the risk of material falling on the road.
Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Brett Gliddon says “We will endeavour to keep delays to the absolute minimum throughout this work.”
The NZTA recommends to drivers that before starting their journeys they should check with the NZTA's freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or 0800 44 44 49, or its website www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) for up-to-the-minute info on road conditions.