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Work begins to clear Arthur’s Pass and Haast Pass slips

Work begins to clear Arthur’s Pass and Haast Pass slips

Work is underway clearing the slips at the Arthur’s Pass and Haast Pass which closed the two state highways yesterday.

The NZ Transport Agency’s Senior Network Manager Mark Pinner says at Arthur’s Pass the contractors have been working at both ends of the slip (pictured above) since about 8am to get the road cleared.

The slip is about 1km west of the Otira township and covers about 100 metres of the highway, being about six metres deep. It is estimated the slip has brought up to 8000 cubic metres of rock and material onto the highway.

“With it is still raining in the area and conditions forecast to deteriorate later today, it is too early to be able to give any indication on when we may be able to get State Highway 73, from Arthur’s Pass to Jacksons, re-opened.”

He says the contractors are also working to clear the slip at Aitkens and deal with some flooding at Kelly’s Creek.

Meanwhile, at the Diana Falls slip site in Haast Pass, contractors expect to have the State Highway 6, from Haast township to Makarora, re-opened later this morning.

“Our geotech was on site at first light and after checking that the slip had stabilised, work began to clear the rock and material that had fallen on the highway during the last two days.”

A number of other smaller slips in the Haast valley have already been cleared.

Mr Pinner says rain is continuing to fall on the West Coast and is forecast to get heavier later today.

“Motorists are advised to get the latest updates on the state highway conditions and hazards by calling Freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or visit the websitewww.highwayinfo.govt.nz before driving on Canterbury/West Coast roads this weekend.”

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