A slip at Omoto closed State highway 7 into Greymouth for
about six hours this morning.
It was discovered about 6am. Debris smothered the road but
did not affect the railway line below. Traffic was re-routed
NZ Transport Agency West Coast senior asset manager Mark
Pinner said heavy rain had brought down debris consisting
mainly of trees. The slip was cleared by midday and no long
term disruptions were expected.
Omoto has been a trouble spot for slips throughout history,
although today's event was much smaller than the massive
slips of the past.
However, the NZTA has bought the former River View Motels as
part of long-term plans to stabilise the hillside against
"The transport agency has recently purchased the nearby motel
site, and the building is currently in the process of being
demolished to allow for planned drainage works to help
improve the stability of the ground above the road," he said.
That work was designed to help reduce the likelihood of
"The improvements will involve the installation of drainage
channels connected to a piped system to channel water away
before the ground becomes saturated. There has been historic
instability of soil through this entire hillside, even prior
to the construction of the original road," Mr Pinner said.
- By Nicholas McBride of the Greymouth Star