The Transport Agency is advising that a large new slip has fallen on the Manawatu Gorge, which has been closed since late April following two other significant slips.
NZTA Regional Transport Systems Manager Ross I’Anson says approximately 10 thousand cubic metres of material, including large boulders, was discovered by contractors inspecting the road this morning. The slip is likely to have come down over the weekend during heavy rain.
The new slip site is about 500 metres from the locked gate at the Ashhurst end of the State Highway 3 road, and was therefore not accessible to vehicles.
Mr I’Anson says the latest slip demonstrates the Gorge’s current instability.
“This illustrates how prone the gorge currently is to slips due to the substantial movement recently measured in the hillside.
“The area is highly unstable and NZTA is warning people to stay away from the slip site and not to proceed beyond the locked gate at the entrances to the Gorge.”
Geotechnical engineers will be reviewing the new slip and hillside above the slip.
Mr I’Anson says motorists should continue to use the alternative routes of Saddle Road and the Pahiatua Track, which are currently undergoing intensive maintenance to provide a better service to the Ashhurst and Woodville communities.
The Transport Agency is also working on solutions to issues raised by the public in meetings last week, about the impact of the gorge’s closure in those communities.
For more information on the Manawatu Gorge see: www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh3-manawatu-gorge-2017-closure
4 October 2017
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