Today’s scheduled road closure of a section of State Highway 29 has been cancelled but the discovery of loose rocks mean further road closures are being planned for next weekend.
The NZ Transport Agency reopened SH29 at Ruahihi Bluffs at 5.00pm yesterday and says the section of the road will remain open to a single lane for the rest of the week.
The loose column of rock, which appears partly white, has no support under it and will need to be blasted.
The work to remove unstable rocks weakened by recent weather conditions was completed earlier than planned but geologists discovered a large free standing column of loose rock which will require blasting to remove.
Bay of Plenty state highways manager Brett Gliddon says a plan will be put together this week for the blasting activity.
“We are pleased with the progress made today to stabilise loose rock areas identified earlier in the week, however we will certainly need to remove this large free standing column of loose rock now and a plan will put together this week for the blasting activity.
Brett says they are expecting to close the road again next weekend so this can occur.
“It’s disappointing that we will have to close the state highway again, but the safety of road users is our always our top priority and this work does need to be undertaken now."
Drivers will be advised during the week about the details of next weekend’s road closure at Ruahihi Bluffs.
“We really appreciate that drivers are inconvenienced when we have road closures, drivers have been very understanding and we just want to say thank you.”
Brett says before starting their journeys people should check with the NZTA’s freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or 0800 44 44 49, or its website www.highwayinfo.govt.nz for information on road conditions.