18 Nov 2012

Manawatu Gorge reopens after complex repairs

5:13 pm on 18 November 2012

The Manawatu Gorge is finally open again after 15 months of delays and diversions.

A series of slips on State Highway 3 has caused the road between Ashhurst and Woodville to be closed entirely or partially since since August last year.

The Transport Agency's state highways manager says the two alternative routes were narrow and hill, so people living either side of the slip were very inconvenienced.

David McGonigal says people in Ashhurst had to put up with increased traffic through their town, while businesses in Woodville lost a lot of custom.

Mr McGonigal says everyone has been very patient with what has been an incredibly complex rebuild in difficult terrain.

Some 375,000 cubic metres of debris had to be removed, the hillside above the road required stabilising and workers also had to rebuild damaged bridges.

Mr McGonigal says much of the work would normally take years, but had to be achieved in months.