Slip-re­pair work set for Para­para

Whanganui Chronicle - - Front Page - Staff Re­porter

Work is ex­pected to start on Mon­day on a tem­po­rary road to re­con­nect State High­way 4 — the Para­para — be­tween Raetihi and Whanganui, with the aim of open­ing one lane as soon as pos­si­ble.

The road has been closed since early last month after it was sig­nif­i­cantly dam­aged by a ma­jor slip.

The site con­tin­ued to move in the weeks fol­low­ing the slip, but geotech­ni­cal en­gi­neers last week said it had sta­bilised and was now safe enough for ground crews to be­gin work.

“Our crews are now pre­par­ing to en­ter the slip site, where we will be­gin drainage and reveg­e­ta­tion be­fore start­ing work to build a tem­po­rary align­ment to re­in­state the road,” NZ Trans­port Agency (NZTA) re­gional trans­port sys­tems man­ager Mark Owen said.

“Early in­di­ca­tions sug­gest that a full tem­po­rary road could be com­pleted early next year; how­ever, this is sub­ject to fur­ther as­sess­ment as we work our way across the slip face.

“It is likely that once the tem­po­rary road is open, there will be lim­i­ta­tions on its use. The road will be un­der con­stant ob­ser­va­tion and if deemed un­safe at any time, will be closed im­me­di­ately,” he said.

There are sev­eral other prob­lem sites along State High­way 4 be­tween Matahiwi and Whanganui, where in some places the road is down to one lane. NZTA has a sum­mer work pro­gramme for these sites.

Some are sub­ject to fi­nal con­sent­ing and land owner agree­ments, so the pro­gramme is likely to take two years.

NZTA’S rec­om­mended de­tour is via State High­ways 1, 49 and 3.

Al­ter­na­tive routes, in­clud­ing Whanganui River Rd and Fields Track, are not suit­able for heavy ve­hi­cles or large traf­fic vol­umes.

PHOTO / DAVID PEARCE

A full tem­po­rary road across the slip could be com­pleted early next year.

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