It seems there is still no solution in sight for slip-affected Gladstone Rd residents.

More than a year on, landslide issues on the road remain unresolved, proving frustrating for residents who are effectively cut off from town at night.

Gladstone Rd is the only access road to many homes and the Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre, but during hours of darkness it's prohibited due to the precarious slip.

In January last year, the slip loosened 20 tonnes of debris and left a hole in the cliff face 27 metres wide and 50 metres high.

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 THE rock fall in our photo shows what the long nose digger pulled down from the slip in January.
THE rock fall in our photo shows what the long nose digger pulled down from the slip in January.

A geotechnical report and risk assessment was carried out by Stantec engineering services company and submitted to Horowhenua District Council in September last year, which said the slip posed a very high threat.

Four options were recommended: Active slope stabilisation of the slip, building a wall below the slip and shifting the road away from the slip site, a new bridge and realignment of the river.

The report also identified "failing" retaining walls, and said the most cost effective option was to construct a new vehicle bridge to bypass the main slip site and build new retaining, further enhanced by realigning the river.

Currently, the only visible safety measures are two rows of concrete blocks that stand between the slip and the road, and bright orange mesh installed to keep cars away from the unstable retaining walls.

Continual rock fall has smashed up the sealed road and the road remains closed at night, continuing to frustrate residents.

Corey Riley, who lives on Makahika Rd, said every time he drives past he listens for the sound of falling rocks.

He questioned why measures to protect road users hadn't yet been put in place.
Mr Riley who often needs to travel to work at night, said the closure signs render his vehicle uninsured.

He said the council had given him permission to travel the road at night regardless of the signs.

"If HDC are not planning to fix the slip or realign the road, then surely they should at least reseal it and remove the night closure signs," he said.

In November last year an update was sent to affected residents by the council.

It said a feasibility study on alternative options would take place in the 2018/19 financial year, and that the long term solution of an alternative route would likely take up to two years, costing ratepayers between $2-8 million.

HIGGINS contractors photographed evaluating the scene just after the slip in January.
HIGGINS contractors photographed evaluating the scene just after the slip in January.

Horowhenua District Council roading operations team leader Jenny Braithwaite said there were no issues with the slip over the Christmas holidays and currently it is "okay".

She said the road is open during the day and closed in the evening and an alternative route over Trig Rd is available.

However, the Trig track is only accessible via four wheel drive.

"Some residents may be using the road through the slip at night at their own discretion," she said.

"There are currently a number of works taking place on Gladstone Rd to enhance safety, such as resurfacing the road adjacent to the slip and installing additional sight rails and hazard/edge markers."

Ms Braithwaite said long term options for the slip are still under investigation.