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Kaikoura slip clearance reaches mid-point

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/06/2017
Massive road cracks had appeared in The Hunderlee Hills on Highway One, North Canterbury after the 2016 7.8 Richter Scale Kaikoura Earthquake in New Zealand. © Shutterstock Massive road cracks had appeared in The Hunderlee Hills on Highway One, North Canterbury after the 2016 7.8 Richter Scale Kaikoura Earthquake in New Zealand.

Road and rail links to Kaikoura could be restored by Christmas, based on progress made since the devastating earthquake last November.

Work crews estimate they reached a major milestone this week - the half-way point in clearing slips north of the coastal town.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery teams have removed five of the 10 large landslides that buried parts of State Highway 1 and the rail line.

He says they have worked long hours, seven days a week, and have cleared completely the giant slips that fell near Mangamaunu, Irongate stream and Half Moon Bay.

"Given the size of those landslides, NCTIR crews are estimating that more than half of the total slip material has now been removed from the transport corridor north of Kaikoura," he said.

"The work crews are making good progress and it is a testament to the huge effort they are putting in."

He said the crews appreciated the patience of residents and businesses affected by ongoing closures and the frequent movement of work trucks in the area.

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