Rockfall keeps SH6 closed

NOT CLEAR YET: Rockfall has closed State Highway 6 near Makarora.
NOT CLEAR YET: Rockfall has closed State Highway 6 near Makarora.

Contractors have been unable to clear a large rockfall on State Highway 6 about 15km south of Makarora, and the road will remain closed today.

The 2000-cubic-metre slip came down at 6am yesterday morning. It was roughly 50 metres long and 4m to 6m deep.

Contractors spent about three hours clearing the slip yesterday, but they could not get on to the site until after a helicopter, fitted with a monsoon bucket, cleared remaining loose rock from the top of the rock fall area to make it safe for workers.

A further update will be made by the New Zealand Transport Agency at 6pm on when the highway was likely to open.

It was too early to say how much the clearing work would cost.

The Southland Times