A major slip has completely blocked State Highway 3 north of New Plymouth and single-lane access is not expected to open until later tonight.
At 2.15pm police received a report the slip had blocked both lanes of the road about 200 metres north of the Awakino Hotel.
New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) Acting State Highway Manager, Karen Boyt, said the slip just east of the Awakino tavern is blocking both lanes.
"Our road crews are aiming to clear single lane access by later tonight, she said.
"In the meantime, there is an alternative route via Wanganui but it will add significantly to people's travel time."
Full two lane access is likely to take another day or two with NZTA contractors aiming to reopen the road fully by Wednesday at the latest.
Meanwhile, heavy rain has caused a number of smaller slips and instances of surface flooding around Taranaki today.
Slips were reported in the Eastern hilll country on the Tarata Saddle and Okau, Mangamaio, Kiwi, Waitaanga, Autawa, Toetoe and Mangatoro roads; Davis Rd (near Inglewood); Otaraoa Rd near Waitara; and in the New Plymouth suburb of Blagdon at Windy Point.
The Waitaanga and Okau roads were closed earlier today but have been opened by the contractor, and all roads are passable with care.
Flooding closed Lower Dudley Rd between Tarata Rd and State Highway 3 but it has also been reopened.
Other flood-affected roads included Richmond Rd near Lepperton, Carrington Rd near both Plymouth and Oxford intersections, Kaimata Rd, the Egmont and Dorset roads intersection and Mataro Rd.
New Plymouth District Council manager roading assets Max Aves said Fulton Hogan has crews out on urban and rural roads in response to issues that have been reported.
"We ask drivers to take particular care on the roads, and to report any issues that they come across," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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