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Blasting to start on Waioeka Gorge

The fractured area on the Opotiki side of the slip blocking State Highway 2 through the Waioeka Gorge. Photo / NZTA
The fractured area on the Opotiki side of the slip blocking State Highway 2 through the Waioeka Gorge. Photo / NZTA

Blasting work will start immediately to stabilise part of the slip face in Waioeka Gorge.

This could cause delays of up to 30 minutes for drivers using State Highway 2 between Bay of Plenty and Gisborne but the temporary road will remain open.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said a geological site inspection indicated the slip face was "relatively stable", despite a fractured area on the Opotiki side of the slope moving 60mm when measured on Monday.

Bay of Plenty state highways manager Brett Gliddon said work would commence immediately to stabilise this and other parts of the slope.

The work included minor blasting and excavation and is expected to take about four weeks.

"There will be minor disruptions to motorists using the temporary road when controlled blasting activity of up to 30 minutes is undertaken but we will provide drivers with advance warning of these delays."

Mr Gliddon said the slip movement had been confirmed as minor.

"So we are happy that the temporary road can remain open at this time.

"We are continuing our excavation work this week to remove a mass of slip material known as the 'whaleback', which is located in the middle of the slip face. Meanwhile, this other slip face stabilisation work will start immediately so we can complete it as quickly as possible".

- The Gisborne Herald

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