About six thousand cubic metres of debris have been cleared from the slip site at Blue Bluff on Ōtaki Gorge Road with an estimated 40,000 more to come over the next few months before the road can be opened.
At the end of March, initial work was carried out to give excavators and trucks access to the site. This involved putting in tracks from the road, up the side of the site onto the slip face itself.
Clearing of debris from the slip face has been underway for a few weeks with the help of a 36-tonne excavator and two 40-tonne dump trucks.
“It’s great to get started on clearing the area,” Acting Group Manager Infrastructure Services Tony Martin says. “We’ve got great con dence in the level of expertise of the contractors working on the job and things are progressing well.”
Once the debris has all been taken away over the next few months, the slip face will have three seven-metre wide steps built into it with 25 metres of slope between each step. These steps will catch any debris that comes down the slope. If there is too much debris for these steps to cope with, it will fall into a ‘catch’ area beside the road rather than ending up on the road itself.
People should continue to keep away from the site while the work, expected to be completed by mid-June, is being carried out.
“It’s fantastic to have the work underway and
get closer, with each passing day, to having the road open again so people can regain access
to the popular camping ground and tracks at the end of it,” Otaki Ward Councillor Penny Gaylor says.
Acting GM Infrastructure Services Tony Martin (right) with Neil Williams Roading Network Performance Team Leader.