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Quake road one step closer to opening

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/01/2017
The area covered will include the upper Awatere Valley, which is cut off by a massive slip that is expected to take some time to clear. © Getty Images The area covered will include the upper Awatere Valley, which is cut off by a massive slip that is expected to take some time to clear.

Nine families stranded in the Awatere Valley since the Kaikoura earthquake cut access to their properties are one step closer to freedom after work crews blasted through a major slip.

Civil Defence has been flying supplies to the properties on Awatere Valley Road which has been blocked since the November 14 quake.

After two months of aerial bombardment and ground-level blasting Marlborough District Council revealed the road was now open to construction vehicles.

The worst of the damage is further up the road at Maddocks Cutting where the quake left major cracks.

About 100 metres of new road will need to be constructed, according to Marlborough Roads journey manager Steve Murrin says.

"We cannot open the road for public use until both the main slip site and the Maddocks areas are safe," Mr Murrin said.

But it's expected the road through to Molesworth Station could be open in as little as week to 10 days.

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