17 Mar 2012

New route planned around Waioeka Gorge slip

7:15 am on 17 March 2012

The Transport Agency has begun planning a shorter, alternative route around a major slip in the Waioeka Gorge, north of Gisborne.

The slip has blocked State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Opotoki, forcing motorists to use a detour which adds two to three hours to the trip.

Representatives from the agency met council officials and contractors on Friday to discuss whether to use explosives to clear the slip.

The agency's Bay of Plenty regional manager, Harry Wilson, says at this stage explosives won't be used, although that decision will be reviewed on Monday.

He says the most hazardous part of the slip should be stabilised over the next two days, allowing work on a new, shorter route around the slip to begin.