Manawatu Gorge closed for 6 weeks
Fri, 06 Jul 2012 12:13p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
The Manawatu Gorge road has been closed today and will be for the next six weeks after flooding eroded the temporary road around the existing massive slip face.
River levels rose to seven metres higher than normal last night which eroded the slip material which the road was sitting on.
Scroll down for before and after pictures
In August last year, the road was closed indefinitely by a massive slip which wiped out the road and a number of bridge foundations. The road was planned to be open in time for Christmas.
But another massive slip on October 19 last year brought down another 20,000 cubic metres of debris, stalling efforts to get the road open.
A temporary road around the base of the slip was opened at the end of May allowing some traffic through but last night, the river eroded the soil it was sitting on.
Highways manager from the New Zealand Transport Authority David McGonigal says mother nature has thrown another curveball at them.
“The intensity of the flooding in the river has simply eaten away so much of the slope that we've lost a good chunk of the temporary road as well.”
He says despite the setback, the repairs to the road will not be hampered.
"The bridge crews will be working as quickly as possible, and once one side of the bridges is complete, we'll be able to re-open a route through the gorge.
“In the meantime, while the closure is in place motorists will need to revert to using the alternative route,” says Mr McGonigal.
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