Gorge slip an opportunity says Bridges
rier is in place, some right turns will be removed and some of the roads that connect to SH58 will become left turns only.
Some people would have little change to their access, Hunt said, while others might need to travel a few minutes longer to reach their destinations.
In 2014, NZTA consulted with the community on a package of safety improvements, and received feedback on how it could improve the proposal.
‘‘Since the 2014 engagement, we have addressed some safety concerns by realigning curves at Haywards Hill,’’ Hunt said.
‘‘We have also taken on board the feedback and expanded the proposed scope of improvements to achieve greater safety outcomes.’’
Community information days will be held at Pauatahanui School on July 27 and 29. To register, see nzta.govt.nz
The closure of the Manawatu Gorge has created an opportunity to build a road that is much better, wider and safer, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.
Bridges visited the Ashhurst and Woodville townships either side of the Manawatu Gorge on Wednesday morning.
The Manawatu Gorge has been closed since April 24 after a large slip fell, covering both lanes of State Highway 3.
On July 7, repair crews were pulled out of the gorge amid fears for their safety after a large area of loose hillside was identified. The gorge has been closed ever since, putting pressure on alternative routes the Saddle Rd and Pahiatua Track, and the towns on either side.
On Wednesday, Bridges said the Government was backing a ‘‘significantly more resilient route’’. If geotechnical data was able to show a reduction in the risk of another large slip in the gorge, the road could be fixed, but ‘‘I don’t see that as a likely scenario’’.
A new route was much more likely, he said.
The NZ Transport Agency has invited three organisations to tender to investigate long-term options. Tenders close in midAugust.
The Westpac rescue helicopter on State Highway 58 in December last year after five people were hurt in a crash.