Gorge stays firmly blocked

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH -

An­other slip will de­lay the Manawatu Gorge’s re­open­ing, as com­muters are forced to use the Pahiatua Track and Sad­dle Rd for at least an­other week.

Bad weather has ham­pered cleanup ef­forts and forced a tem­po­rary halt to work on the site.

State High­way 3 through the gorge was closed af­ter a large slip cov­ered both lanes on April 24.

A smaller slip has been cleared, and it was hoped the road would re-open on Thurs­day, but the lat­est rock fall has put paid to that.

About 2000 cu­bic me­tres of de­bris thun­dered down the Tararua-range side of the gorge on Sun­day night.

Con­trac­tors also dis­cov­ered a large over­hang of un­sta­ble ma­te­rial which was likely to come down with fur­ther rain within the next few days, high­way man­ager Ross l’An­son said.

L’An­son didn’t yet have a new re-open­ing date for the gorge, but said: ‘‘The sit­u­a­tion will be re­assessed at the end of the week.’’

Mean­while, busi­nesses that rely on gorge traf­fic are do­ing it tough.

Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil chair­man Bruce Gor­don said he was dis­ap­pointed that ef­forts to clear the slip had not been made sooner.

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