Slip could take several days to clear
Port Underwood road 'too dangerous' to fixKAT DUGGAN
Marlborough contractors were able to better assess damage in the region as the rain cleared yesterday.
Nearly 20 roads remained impassable last night, including Port Underwood Rd, which was blocked by a major slip.
Marlborough Roads highway manager Frank Porter said specialist geotechnical engineers would be arriving from Wellington today to inspect the site, at Whatamango Bay.
"Several thousand cubic metres of unstable hillside around the path of the slip mean it is too dangerous for road crews to begin work," he said last night.
Smaller slips in the same area would be cleared, but it was expected it would take several days to clear debris from the large slip, Porter said.
Port Underwood Rd residents beyond Whatamango Bay could only exit the area through Rarangi, an extra hour-and-a-half driving time, he said.
The road was open on either side, but the use of four-wheel-drive vehicles was recommended.
Flooding had also washed out a timber bridge on Speeds Rd, between Blenheim and Picton.
Emergency access to the road had been set up for residents, but the road would remain closed until a temporary bridge was put in place, Porter said.
They hoped to have the bridge in place early next week, he said.
Marlborough District Council reserves and amenities manager Rosie Bartlett said all Marlborough sports grounds and mountain bike tracks remained closed yesterday.
Decisions were to be made today whether they would reopen for Saturday sport, she said.
Updates could be found at marlborough.govt.nz/Recreation/Parks-and-Reserves/Sports-Parks/Status.aspx.
Marlborough roads still closed as at 8am this morning:
Ward Beach Road
Taylor Pass Road at the Fords
Beaver Road Footbridge
Elizabeth Street Footbridge
Hodder Ford - Awatere Valley Road
Omaka Ford, Old Renwick Road
Old Renwick Road at Fairhall Diversion
Speeds Road - bridge damage
Foster Street, Seddon
Port Underwood Road - Whatamango Hill
An update was expected about 12pm.
- The Marlborough Express
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