Haast Pass closure due to rockfall at Clarke Bluff
Haast Pass closure due to large rockfall at Clarke Bluff, SH6 – highway closed all day Tuesday, next update midday Wednesday
Ongoing rain combined with a complex rock face at South Westland’s Clarke Bluff, SH6, mean the highway closure put in place yesterday afternoon will remain in place all day today (Tuesday) and Wednesday morning.
The next update will be midday tomorrow at this site: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/regions/12
“The Transport Agency’s geotechnical engineer on site has undertaken a preliminary assessment of yesterday’s rockfall and agreed it is not straightforward to remedy today,” says NZ Transport Agency Maintenance Contract Manager for the West Coast Moira Whinham.
“Scaling of loose material from the rock face will take longer to complete than originally thought. Rain on site today is also slowing progress, and we must ensure that abseilers working on the face of the slip are safe. A further update will be provided at 12pm tomorrow (Wednesday).”
The highway was closed to all traffic after 3 pm Monday afternoon after a rockfall, triggered by recent rain, blocked both lanes including a large boulder which could not be removed easily or safely with machinery.
Clarke Bluff has had rockfall in the past. It is located at a narrow point on SH6 between Haast township and the top of the Haast Pass with no room on the side of the road for traffic to get past safely.