10km Gorge track still blocked

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MIRI SCHROETER

A sec­tion of the pop­u­lar 10-kilo­me­tre track at the Manawatu Gorge re­mains closed more than four months after a slip.

The track was par­tially closed in Septem­ber when a slip at the eastern end of the Te Apiti track made it too dan­ger­ous for pub­lic use.

Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion (DOC) Manawatu op­er­a­tions man­ager Al­lanah Irvine said a route had now been mapped around the slip and work on it was due to start at the end of Jan­uary.

DOC engi­neers as­sessed the ground as un­sta­ble and sig­nage was in place to in­form peo­ple to steer clear, Irvine said.

Be­fore the slips, about 10,000 peo­ple a year walked the full 10km track, she said.

It was un­clear how many peo­ple had used the track in the past few months, but the gorge was still a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion with all other tracks still open, Irvine said.

‘‘In ad­di­tion to the walk­ing track slip, DOC also rec­om­mends cau­tion on the Te Ara o Mahu­rangi moun­tain bike trail.

‘‘The trail is badly rut­ted on all the steep drop­ping cor­ners, with bog holes in the wet guil­lies.’’

Re­pairs were planned for the first half of 2017, Irvine said.

There were also plans to ex­tend the moun­tain bike trail to run the full length of the gorge track.

DOC was look­ing into the pro­ject, but Irvine said there were no def­i­nite plans or time frames set for com­ple­tion.

The pop­u­lar 10km Te Apiti track at the Manawatu Gorge re­mains par­tially closed after a slip in Septem­ber.

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