25 Aug 2010

Slip closes Opotiki-Te Kaha highway indefinitely

6:19 pm on 25 August 2010

An orchard worker says the closure of a state highway between Te Kaha and Opotiki means people will be forced to drive up to five hours using the alternative route.

State Highway 5 was closed at Maraenui Hill from 6pm on Wednesday until further notice due to significant damage caused by a slip.

The Transport Agency says once single-lane access has been restored, geotechnical experts will try to develop a suitable long-term solution for the site.

Until then, drivers will have to detour to Gisborne via State Highway 35, then on to State Highway 2.

Te Kaha orchard worker Jared Te Moana says that means driving up to 500km.

The Transport Agency says it is trying to find a shorter detour on forestry roads for light vehicles.