Trucks are using a 30-kilometre alternative route to carry food and fuel into Tokomaru Bay this weekend, but residents could face a long wait for the main route into the East Coast town to be reopened.
State Highway 35 between Tolaga Bay and Tokomaru Bay has been closed since Tuesday, due to a large slip at Busby's Hill just south of Tokomaru Bay.
Transport Agency central regional director Jenny Chetwynd says the alternative route which has been opened on local roads is narrow and unsealed in places.
Locals may have to use the detour for some time, because engineers are dependent on dry weather for progress on the highway.
She says the inland route will be manned all weekend and the agency will escort convoys of goods safely into the town, and allow residents to make essential journeys.
Road workers hope to reopen the state highway by late next week.