16 Mar 2012

Agency meets on next step in clearing Waioeka Gorge slip

2:00 pm on 16 March 2012

The Transport Agency is discussing a critical phase in clearing a slip in the Waioeka Gorge north of Gisborne.

The agency's Bay of Plenty regional manager, Harry Wilson, says a large chunk of rock and dirt near the top of the slip is a major risk, slowing progress in clearing the road.

He says explosives may be used to clear the 20,000 cubic metres of earth and rock debris if monsoon buckets of water cannot do so.

The Gisborne mayor, Meng Foon, says affected businesses in the region met with the agency on Thursday, and asked it to make a decision and get the road open as quickly as possible.

The blockage has forced motorists travelling between Gisborne and Opotoki to take detours that add two to three hours to the trip.

The idea of a temporary bridge or road will also be considered.