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Manawatu Gorge to be 'closed for 3 weeks'

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/04/2017

The Manawatu Gorge road has been closed by two slips and motorists have been told it is likely to stay shut until mid-May.

The NZ Transport Agency says the smaller 200 sq m slip at the Ashhurst end of the gorge should take a day and a half to clear.

However, contractors have estimated that it could take three weeks to shift the 3500 sq m slip at the Woodville end and make that section of State Highway 3 safe again.

NZTA highway manager Ross I'Anson says motorists can use the Pahiatua Track and the Saddle Road as alternative routes.

He says engineers and agency staff have done a preliminary assessment with a drone flyover to ensure that it is safe for crews to start the clean-up.

A meeting on Wednesday morning will determine the next steps.

In 2011, a massive slip closed the gorge road for 16 months.

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