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Manawatu Gorge remains closed - for now

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/06/2017
The scene of the slip earlier this month © Photo: NZTA The scene of the slip earlier this month

The Manawatu Gorge road, shut for more than six weeks after being hit by slips, remains closed as NZ Transport Agency staff analyse a geotechnical report.

The road, which is part of State Highway 3, hasn't been open to traffic since April 24, and the NZ Transport Agency had originally hoped it would be back in use by May 18.

NZTA highway manager Ross I'Anson says it will stay closed while work continues to repair a damaged retaining wall and another small slip is cleared.

Rockfall netting will be put in at both sites.

Mr I'Anson said a further update on a potential re-opening date would be given once the results of a detailed geotechnical report have been properly analysed.

"We understand how frustrating this closure is for everyone affected by it," he said on Friday.

"Our crews are working hard to get the job done, and we'll re-open the road as soon as we're confident that it's safe to do so."

The Pahiatua Track and the Saddle Road would remain the alternative routes in the meantime - travellers on those roads faced delays on Fridays due to separate accidents.

Mr I'Anson said motorists were reminded to be patient, drive to the conditions and watch their speeds.

The road was closed for more than a year after slips in 2011.

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