23 Mar 2012

Road closure frustrates Gisborne vegetable growers

3:45 pm on 23 March 2012

Relief is on the way for Gisborne vegetable growers trying to get their produce to northern markets in the face of a major road closure

Work has started on a temporary diversion around the massive slip in the Waioeka Gorge that's closed State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Bay of Plenty.

It's hoping to have that finished in a week or so, allowing traffic to start using the gorge again.

Murray McPhail, who heads Gisborne contract grower Leaderbrand, is frustated at the length of time it's taking to reopen the gorge, because of what it's costing his business.

The Transport Agency says it's well aware of the frustration and cost for producers and transport operators caused by the gorge closure.

Bay of Plenty state highway manager Brett Gliddon says the agency hopes to have a temporary road around the base of the slip finished in about a week.

He says however that its opening depends on getting the 150-metre slip face stabilised and made safe.