You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Diggers to clear SH1 slips near Kaikoura

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/02/2017
Damage to state highway 1 near Kaikoura, after the 7.5 magnitude Hanmer Earthquake, New Zealand, Monday, November 14, 2016. © SNPA / David Alexander Damage to state highway 1 near Kaikoura, after the 7.5 magnitude Hanmer Earthquake, New Zealand, Monday, November 14, 2016.

Excavators will begin clearing landslips from State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura three months after November's huge earthquake.

SH1 north and south of Kaikoura was badly damaged by the 7.8 magnitude quake with the highway south of the town reopened just before Christmas.

However, progress has been slower to the north with engineers and work crews spending the past two months sluicing slips leading to Ohau Point by helicopter.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said on Saturday this work had made it safe for machinery to move on-site at a slip at Irongate, about 20km north of Kaikoura.

"This is good news not only for Kaikoura but also the rest of New Zealand as we begin to rebuild the road and rail networks that are critical to supporting our economy," he said.

Authorities expect to take three weeks clearing the Irongate slip and building an access road around it so the excavator can then continue building a road around three other slips to reach Ohau Point.

The Ohau Point slip is one of the biggest and most complex of nine significant slips along that stretch of highway, the Transport Ministry said.

The constructed roads will open limited access for Rakautara residents, who have been isolated between the slips since November.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon