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Update 5pm: SH6 closure near Iron Bridge, Upper Buller Gorge

Update 5pm: SH6 closure near Iron Bridge, Upper Buller Gorge – remaining closed overnight

State Highway 6 through the Upper Buller Gorge between Murchison and the Iron Bridge at Inangahua will remain closed overnight due to rockfall concerns, says the NZ Transport Agency.

The detour route is via Springs Junction and Reefton.

The highway was closed in the early hours of this morning after 800 cubic metres of material fell on the highway, causing a driver to crash into a rock. The driver was uninjured.

(See earlier release here: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/media-releases/upper-buller-gorge-sh6-slips-closures-due-to-heavy-rain-over-weekend-sunday-8-july/ )

“The cliff face has been scaled today with abseilers removing loose rocks but our geotechnical team is concerned that the risk of rockfall remains for road users,” says Margarita Gonzalez-Borrero, NZ Transport Agency Maintenance Contract Manager.

“Considering that material is still falling, the risk from the overhanging rock and the rain forecast, we have decided not to open the Upper Buller Gorge tonight. Plans to remove or remediate the rock overhang are being finalised.”

• A smaller slip at Berlins, SH6, on the Lower Buller Gorge has now been cleared.

• A smaller slip on the Coast Road at Whitehorse Hill, near Fox River, between Greymouth and Westport, SH6, has also been cleared to allow single lane travel in the meantime.

How to stay up to date:

• The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic
• Upper Buller Gorge updates here http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/regions/12

• Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here https://www.nzta.govt.nz/contact-us/connect-with-us/
• Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information either before they’re travelling or when they’re on the road.

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