No fast fix for road

Central Otago Mirror - - OPINION - By CHE BAKER

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions have im­proved re­gard­ing road clo­sures at the Diana Falls slip but the road is not ex­pected to be clear un­til March. At meet­ings in Makarora and Wanaka, New Zealand Trans­port Agency per­for­mance man­ager Peter Con­nors said the bill had topped $2 mil­lion but the road was not ex­pected to be open to two lanes for four months. ‘‘We are stuck with this for some time. We can’t make wild prom­ises here to make it bet­ter,’’ Mr Con­nors said. Di­rect com­mu­ni­ca­tions were now avail­able from con­trac­tors work­ing on the slip to Haast and Makarora. Rais­ing the road, in­stalling side pro­tec­tion, in­stalling fences above the road and a catch pit were all be­ing con­sid­ered as long term so­lu­tions. The slip oc­curred on Septem­ber 10 af­ter heavy rain and a geotech­ni­cal re­port found there was a like­li­hood of fur­ther ‘‘mas­sive fail­ure’’ and a large quan­tity of un­sta­ble high risk rolling blocks. NZTA south­ern re­gional di­rec­tor Jim Har­land said: ‘‘We are com­mit­ted to get­ting this thing mov­ing fast.’’ How­ever, there were nu­mer­ous places along the road which could give at any time, he said. Reg­u­lar in­spec­tions were tak­ing place to pre­vent slips. Makarora res­i­dents and tourist op­er­a­tors said the road needed to be open for longer at night in the lead-up to the busy sea­son. At this stage it was closed be­tween 6pm and 8am. They also wanted road blocks in Makarora and Haast re­moved so those driv­ing through could wait at the slip site at 8am for the road to open.

Rocky road: NZTA se­nior net­work man­ager for Otago John Jarvis, left, south­ern re­gional di­rec­tor Jim Har­lan and per­for­mance man­ager Peter Con­nors in Makarora af­ter hold­ing a pub­lic meet­ing about the Diana Falls slip. The slip, which hap­pened mid-Septem­ber, has caused road clo­sures and cost over $2 mil­lion to clear.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.