Slip expected to keep Manawatu Gorge closed for three weeks

The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists that the Manawatu Gorge is likely to remain closed for three weeks because of slips on the road.

Transport Agency Highway Manager Ross I’Anson says there are two slips. One slip of approximately 200m3 at the southern end (Ashhurst) of the gorge is expected to take about a day and a half to clear, but there is a much larger slip of approximately 3,500m3 at the north/eastern end (Woodville). Early estimates are that it could take contractors three weeks to clear the slip and make the road safe again.  The northern slip is small compared to the size of the large 2011 slip, which closed the road for 16 months

“Geotechnical engineers and Transport Agency staff have done a preliminary assessment of the slips, with a drone flyover, ensuring that it is safe for crews to start clearing slip material and stabilising the slopes. More detailed analysis will now be done and a further meeting between the Transport Agency and engineers tomorrow at 9am will decide on the next steps”.

Motorists can use the Pahiatua Track and the Saddle Road as alternative routes.

Motorists can check the latest information on highway conditions, delays and closures at www.highwayinfo.govt.nz, or by calling 0800 4 HIGWHAYS (0800 44 44 49).