Boulder to close gorge

21:43, Jun 05 2012

The Karangahake Gorge will be closed for about an hour on Thursday as contractors try to remove a boulder on a roadside bank.

State Highway 2 is expected to be closed between 11am and midday to allow crews to blast the boulder onto the road and then remove the rock fragments.

NZ Transport Agency state highway manager Kaye Clark said the work was necessary to protect motorists travelling through the gorge.

''After a routine inspection identified a possible issue with this rock, we sent in a team to abseil down the rock face to inspect it more closely. As a result, it was decided that the boulder should be removed as a precaution,'' Ms Clark said.

Motorists can take alternative routes between the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, either via SH 29 over the Kaimais or along SH 25A.

Ms Clark said the road works were dependent on suitable weather conditions.

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Waikato Times