Falls slip solution in sight

CHE BAKER IN WANAKA
Last updated 14:24 02/04/2014

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Makarora Tourist Centre manager Michele St John is pleased work on a long-term solution for the Diana Falls slip is set to get under way, despite the slip being an unexpected positive for the business.

Christchurch-based geotechnical engineering and construction company Geovert will begin work at the slip site on State Highway 6 this week to re-open the road to two-lanes and 24/7 traffic later this year.

The road has been reduced to single-lane traffic from 8am to 7pm and closed at night for the past six months after heavy rain in September caused a major slip.

St John said having a long-term solution in place before summer would be "wonderful".

"It's been incredibly disruptive," she said.

Communication between rental car companies and tourist guide bookings were still causing headaches for staff as the businesses were not letting those booking or renting cars aware the road was shut.

However, the spin off was that the road closures had meant the business was busier and accommodation at the tourist centre had grown, which was "great thing", St John said.

"It's been really stressful ...the crew have all worked really hard."

NZ Transport Agency senior network manager Mark Pinner said: "Geovert have been involved in a large number of slope rehabilitation and stabilisation projects throughout New Zealand, including the geotechnically complex rock fall work on Milford Road, near Homer Tunnel, and the country's largest road landslide in the Manawatu Gorge".

The highway will remain closed at night until the work is completed.

Pinner said the work included installation of a catch fence above the road, a debris fence about one-third of the way up the slip face and the blasting and removal of large rocks that were considered at risk of creating instability.

 

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