Concern at the instability of the Manawatu Gorge road was expressed at the recent NZTA meeting with the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking in reply to a question about the status of the former highway NZTA Regional Performance Manager Mark Owen said that recent falls, particularly on one of the bridges, had made access for staff to assess the state of the road difficult.

But drone footage has suggested the potential for the whole hillside near Kerry's Wall to collapse, as big as previous large falls.

He was concerned that people were ignoring the barriers and conditions were very dangerous.


Other questions related to the alternate routes, with one local suggesting cyclists should be banned from the Saddle Road.

Owen said efforts were being made to make the Pahiatua Track safer for cyclists as an alternative but since the Saddle Road was a public highway cyclists have the freedom to use it.

He said most of the long-term improvements to the Saddle Road, Ballance Valley Road and Pahiatua Track had been completed and now only maintenance will be done.

Asked what was to become of the Saddle Road when the Te Ahu a Turanga Manawatu-Tararua highway is complete, Owen replied that the district would end up with a very high-class council road.