Haast Pass set to reopen on Friday

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 15:11 17/09/2013
Haast Pass slip
NZ Transport Agency

MASSIVE SLIP: State Highway 6 between Haast and Makaroa remains closed.

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Work has resumed to clear a large slip at Haast Past today, with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) hoping to have the state highway reopened by Friday.

State Highway 6 had been closed at Diana Falls, between the Gates of Haast bridge and Haast Pass summit, since Wednesday after heavy rain caused a massive slip.

NZTA West Coast area manager Mark Pinner said a geotechnical inspection of the site this morning showed it was stable enough to allow clearing work to resume this afternoon.

"The original slip was about 40 metres wide, but additional debris that has been washed down since then has increased the slip width to almost 80 metres, and is much higher also."

Pinner said the weather forecast for the next few days was looking settled, but more bad weather was expected on Thursday.

NZTA would be working hard to get as much clearing work done between now and then as possible, he said.

"We understand the importance of getting this road open again and the frustration of those who rely on it, with the setbacks in getting it open again."

NZTA hoped to have one lane of the road reopened on Friday, provided there were not any further weather-related setbacks, Pinner said.

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