Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Manawatu Gorge Slip

The Manawatu Gorge links Hawkes Bay and the East with the Manawatu and the West of central part of The North Island.

Last year a landslip closed the road and rail line through the gorge.

Yesterday's New Zealand Herald conveyed the following news:
The New Zealand Transport Agency announced today that the main route between Manawatu and Hawke's Bay would stay shut because of the amount of slip debris that needs securing and clearing.

Palmerston North state highways manager David McGonigal said although crews were making outstanding progress, there was still a lot of work to be done.

"We believe this is the largest slip ever to occur in New Zealand. We certainly can't find anything comparable ... It is a very complex slip and the challenge comes from the size of it and the environment we are having to work in. We are up against mother nature, this is what she has thrown at us."

Mr McGonigal said crews are working seven days a week.

"The volume of work we have to get through is huge and we realise it will beat least the end of June before we can reopen the Manawatu Gorge.

"However, this is weather-dependent. Summer hasn't been kind to anyone and we cannot work up there when it is wet as everything just turns to mud and the machines slide around which is dangerous."