No timeline for reopening landslide-affected Lakeside Road in Wanaka
No timeline is available yet to reopen Wanaka's landslide-affected Lakeside Road and the Queenstown Lakes District Council has contracted its own engineers to independently assess the situation.
Engineers contracted by the Marina Terrace Appartment developers have been "working around the clock" since September 8 to "dewater" the boggy construction site before removing the slip from the road.
Communications manager Naell Crosby-Roe said no timeline was available yet to open the road and traffic should continue to use Lismore Street.
"The developers are in regular contact with QLDC representatives and the latest update received is that the continued process of "dewatering" the site has delivered some improvement but has been slower than anticipated," Crosby-Roe said.
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Water flows and levels are being assessed hourly and the developers are reporting to the council twice a day.
Crosby-Roe said the developer's contractors were waiting for more advice from GeoSolve engineers about shoring up the head of the slip so the road could be cleared safely.
"Work to clear and reopen Lakeside Road can only begin once the site is confirmed as sufficiently stable and there is no risk of subsequent slips occurring. QLDC has engaged Opus International engineers to collaborate with GeoSolve and the developers to independently assess the situation and review their evaluations and recommendations," Crosby-Roe said.
Nature kept adding rain and snow to the construction site over the weekend, which Crosby-Roe said "would not have helped".
A slow moving wall of soil and mud took several hours to slide from the Marina Terrace Apartments site overnight on September 7 but stopped short of tumbling into the lake.
"We have put everything in place to support them, with road closures, pedestrian access [below the slip at the lake edge] for safety and disconnecting the lights so it is safe to move big machinery," Crosby-Roe said.
Development spokesman Matt Tuck said on September 8 the landslide was due to the site being destabilised during the removal of vegetation and waterlogged soil, prior to planned dewatering of the construction site.
Stuff has not been able to contact Tuck for further comment. Marina Terrace engineering and project manager Kevin Lovell has been contacted and has declined to comment.
The council's priorities are to ensure the site is stabilised to prevent further slips and guarantee that neighbouring properties are not at risk.
Crosby-Roe confirmed any investigation by the council's enforcement team would follow those immediate priorities.
The developer has informed immediate residents and offered reassurance of the localised nature of the event in the centre of the site.