State Highway 2 Waimana Gorge to reopen

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SLIP: The State Highway 2 Waimana Gorge remains closed following a slip, and is expected to reopen to one lane later today. PHOTO/SUPPLIED.
SLIP: The State Highway 2 Waimana Gorge remains closed following a slip, and is expected to reopen to one lane later today. PHOTO/SUPPLIED.

The State Highway 2 Waimana Gorge remains closed following a slip, and is expected to reopen to one lane later today.

A helicopter carrying a monsoon bucket will drop thousands of litres of water above State Highway 2 (SH2) in the Waimana Gorge today as work to clear a slip blocking the road continues.

The highway, which links Taneatua and Opotiki has been closed at Waimana since 3.30am yesterday when a large amount of rocks and other material came down following heavy rain.

The detour is via Whakatane and Ohope.

The New Zealand Transport Agency's Bay of Plenty highways manager, Niclas Johansson says SH2 at Waimana is expected to re-open to one lane by early this evening.

"This is a large slip, approximately 2000 cubic metres of material has come down and our contractors have been working hard to clear it and get the road open again.

"The helicopter will help bring down any unstable material above the slip. Once this is complete, concrete barriers will be installed and one lane will open to traffic under stop/go traffic management so drivers can get through.

"At this stage we expect to have one lane open this evening. However, people will experience delays of five to 10 minutes due to the traffic management onsite."

Stop/go traffic management will remain in place until the site is assessed as safe to fully reopen.

Another update will be sent out at 5pm today.

For personalised information about driving conditions on their frequently used routes, motorists can check out and sign up to On The Move at www.onthemove.govt.nz

For real time information on highway conditions and incidents, or to report issues on the network, visit www.nzta.govt.nz, call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) or follow the Transport Agency on Facebook or @nztawaibop on Twitter.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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