The road between Kotemaori and Pūtōrino was out of action on Sunday when heavy rainfall over the weekend led to the slip, which initially blocked both lanes of the road near the intersection with Waikare Road.
A Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency spokesperson said on Monday morning a geotechnical assessment would be undertaken with the assistance of a drone, which would be used to assess the upper area of the slip that couldn’t be seen from the road.
Roading crews had worked throughout the day on Sunday to start clearing the debris they could.
“Crews are back at the site this morning and have been working to remove more material from the road. However, the road will remain closed due to the risk of more material coming done,” the spokesperson said.
It is the second time in a week the major road has been closed due to slips.
Last Sunday, November 26, a slip on SH2 just south of Wairoa resulted in a fatal crash about 4am, when a car hit the slip in the dark.
State Highway 2 has been undergoing road works since Cyclone Gabrielle hit in February, which caused extensive damage to the road connecting Napier and Gisborne.
Waka Kotahi Hawke’s Bay/Tairāwhiti system manager Martin Colditz said on Monday that the safety of road users was the number-one priority at the moment.
“We need to keep the road closed while that geotechnical assessment is carried out from the ground and from the air, he said.
“We anticipate being in a position to provide more information about today’s timeframe early this afternoon.”
Waka Kotahi also announced last week it would restore three damaged sections of State Highway 2 to two lanes, with work beginning on Thursday when Transport Rebuild East Coast (TREC) contractors began a section at Sandy Creek, south of Pūtōrino.
Two other sites at White Pine Bush and Mautaua, north of Kotemaori, were scheduled to start on Monday.