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Breakwater Road was closed as two abseilers above Napier Port removed a large dangerous rock on the cliff face of Napier Hill. Video/Warren Buckland.

A dangerous rock has been successfully removed from Bluff Hill's cliff face.

SH50 Breakwater Rd between Coote Rd and Battery Rd was closed over the weekend for the removal of the rock.

It was removed as there was a danger of the rock falling.

A removed rock about to be transported away. Photo / Warren Buckland
A removed rock about to be transported away. Photo / Warren Buckland

A team of abseilers scaled the cliff face and used air bags inflated with compressed air to remove the rock.

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Napier City Council said the procedure would not be noisy.

A series of interlocking shipping containers were placed on the road as a barrier between the falling debris and the port.

If the air bags did not work the team would have deployed a micro-explosive from inside the rock to allow it to break and fall.

The closure began at 6am and the rock was removed ahead of schedule meaning the road reopened at 10pm Saturday night, 24 hours before it was meant to reopen.

Two abseilers working with air bags extract a large rock half way down Napier hill cliff face above Napier Port. Photo / Warren Buckland
Two abseilers working with air bags extract a large rock half way down Napier hill cliff face above Napier Port. Photo / Warren Buckland

Detours were in place and walkers were advised to take a route that went over the hill to get to Ahuriri instead of around the port. Cyclists were not recommended to travel over the hill as increased traffic due to detours was expected.

There has previously been slips at Bluff Hill with 18 homes being evacuated in 2011 after a landslip blocked Breakwater Rd.