State Highway 2 through the Waimana Gorge will open tomorrow during daylight hours, between 7am and 5.30pm for the first time since the start of July.

The New Zealand Transport Agency closed the road after heavy rain caused a major slip on July 4.

SH2 WAIMANA GORGE UPDATE - WED 31 JUL, 4.30PM SH2 Waimana Gorge will re-open tomorrow morning (Aug 1) during daylight...

Posted by NZ Transport Agency Waikato BoP on Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Up until now the road has been closed unconditionally to drivers.

Bay of Plenty system manager Rob Campbell said the site will be continuously monitored during the opening hours to ensure the area remains safe for people to travel through.


Campbell said there were still some concerns over the stability of the slip site and it needed to be continuously monitored.

A traffic management crew will be in place to monitor the site for any changes and can set up a closure if needed.

"When it is dark it is impossible for our staff to see the top of slip, even with lighting towers, so we must shut the road overnight.

"The gorge will also be closed if there is a severe weather warning or significant rainfall forecast, so we encourage motorists to check our social media and website before leaving so they are able to plan their journey," Campbell said.

If travelling after 5pm drivers are asked to use the existing detour via Whakatāne, Ōhope and Wainui which is clearly signposted.

"We know these restrictions are frustrating and we understand the impact on the route being closed and restricted, however we need to ensure the safety of the public and our staff," Campbell said.

He said the NZTA would continue to work hard to lift the overnight restrictions as soon as possible and get the road fully operational.

For latest road information, check our web and social media sites.