Work under way at Mahoenui rockface

The dangerous rockface at Mahoenui on State Highway 3 has been reduced to one lane while extra barriers are put in place, New Zealand Transport Agency says.

The rockface is being checked, additional concrete barriers are now in place and a fence will be installed over the barriers, Hamilton highway manager Kaye Clark said yesterday.

"We will reassess the situation on Monday and decide if the single lane needs to remain in place," Clark said.

Action has been taken following a second rockfall on Wednesday at the same place a New Plymouth woman died when the car in which she was a passenger was crushed by falling rocks.

In the latest incident, an SUV heading north was hit by a 2m by 1m slab of rock and smaller rocks. No-one was hurt but the vehicle's back tyre, suspension and spoiler were damaged.

Four people from South Taranaki, including a 3-year-old boy, were in the SUV travelling to Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

The agency plans to install steel netting, costing between $1-2 million, to catch falling rocks.

Taranaki Daily News