Waioeka Gorge update from NZTA
Friday, 30 March 2012 2:00 p.m.
Traffic flowing well through the temporary diversion route at the gorge
A day on from its opening, the temporary diversion route through the Waioeka Gorge continues to have a steady flow of traffic through the specially created one-lane road.
NZTA Bay of Plenty state highway manager Brett Gliddon said that since the NZTA opened the single-lane temporary diversion route yesterday, many motorists have been making the most of this access, and despite 30km/h speed restrictions, delays have been encouragingly minimal.
"We're seeing about 50 cars perhour going through the temporary road and there has been no significant delays so far, we seem to have a maximum of three cars queuing on either side of this road waiting to get through".
He says it is nice to see motorists showing their appreciation to the crew onsite.
"Drivers have been complimentary to our crew managing the traffic, there has been plenty of toots and smiles showing just how much they appreciate having access through the gorge again".
Mr Gliddon says that the NZTA is hugely grateful to motorists and truckies for their patience and understanding over the last few weeks since the highway was closed on 2 March.
"This has been a massive disruption for the one thousand plus motorists that rely on this lifeline every day. We want to thank everyone for persevering with the detour routes and being so understanding while our crews worked to get this diversion open."
Mr Gliddon says while the slip face remains stable the temporary diversion road will continue to be open from 8.00am to 5.30pm daily.
"We continue to assess and survey the slip face daily to detect any potential slips or rock falls, so far there has been no sign of any movement and we hope that continues."
Mr Gliddon says contractors will be monitoring closely the impact of expected heavy rain and winds next week.
Mr Gliddon says work to provide a long term plan for the slip face is continuing and this includesthe removal of material from the state highway.
"The temporary diversion road will provide immediate access through the gorge, however our work continues to get the state highway reopened as quickly as possible."
In the meantime, the NZTA continues to recommend that motorists check conditions by visiting www.nzta.govt.nz/waioeka-gorge before planning their journey through this temporary road.