Road works planned at Wanaka slip site

Work is about to start on clearing a slip blocking Lakeside Road in Wanaka. One lane only will be opened for now.
Marjorie Cook

Work is about to start on clearing a slip blocking Lakeside Road in Wanaka. One lane only will be opened for now.

Earthworks will soon begin to reopen one lane of Lakeside Road in Wanaka to traffic, the Queenstown Lakes District Council has announced.

Both lanes of Lakeside Road have been covered by a large amount of soil since September 8, following a landslide from the Marina Terrace Apartments construction site.

The council has received and approved the developer's plan to clear the landslide from the road, but no timeline for when the single lane will be reopened is available.

A pedestrian and cycling footpath beside the road has been declared safe and is open. 

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The complex site contains artesian springs and was being prepared for dewatering, prior to construction, when the slip occurred, after a period of heavy rain.

The developer accelerated its dewatering activities to stabilise the site before clearing the road. But then it rained and snowed. Dewatering progress did not go as quickly as had been hoped. 

Now, the developer has assessed that there has been enough "dewatering" to attempt clearing the slip.

"The plan itself will evolve as progress on the slip removal is advanced," the council's communications manager Naell Crosby-Roe said.

The council's independent contractor, Opus International, has assessed and approved the developer's plan.

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The council has given the developer the go-ahead to begin clearing the west lane of the road (the lane closest to the lake and the footpath).

A channel containing a temporary concrete retaining wall will be put through the slip in the other lane (the east lane, closest to the construction site).

Council and Opus representatives will be on site as the road is cleared to monitor any movement in the slip. If there is any movement, the roadworks will stop and the situation will be reassessed.

Motorists should expect traffic movements to be managed in both directions.

The lane will open once all debris has been cleared and the developer has provided the council with enough evidence the remaining slip is stable and is not a traffic risk.

When the lane is ready for traffic the council will issue another advisory, Crosby-Roe said.

 - Stuff

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