22 Jun 2013

Months to fix major slip in Dunedin

7:11 am on 22 June 2013

The Dunedin City Council says it will take months to fix a road wrecked by a large slip. About 30 metres of hillside that held up the Upper Junction Road has fallen away in heavy rain.

A car crushed by the slip on Blanket Bay Road.

A car crushed by the slip on Blanket Bay Road. Photo: RNZ

The slip occurred about 11pm on Wednesday and fell onto a property below on Blanket Bay Road near Port Chalmers, covering the driveway and car but missing the house. Police had to help free a woman living there and other homes had to be evacuated for a time.

The council's roading maintenance engineer, Peter Standring, said the priority is to assess the threat to the house with a geotechnical survey.

Mr Standring said Blanket Bay Road would be cleared quickly, but the damage to the Upper Junction Road is very significant and it would need to be closed to traffic for months.

It has been raining for most of the week in coastal Otago, flooding North Otago and the Taieri Plain. Heavy rain overnight brought down fresh slips around the city and lifted the number of roads closed to about 26 on Thursday.

In another major slip, a concrete wall in Brown Street in central Dunedin collapsed, exposing a house and blocking the street below.

On Otago Peninsula, Portobello Road around the harbour was cut off by multiple slips between Company Bay and Portobello.