Rock clearing programme begins again

Abseilers (from left) Wayo Carson, Paul Chin and Pete Brown (legs) sit tight earlier this year...
Abseilers (from left) Wayo Carson, Paul Chin and Pete Brown (legs) sit tight earlier this year after clearing the rock face on the Nevis Bluff, above the Kawarau River, while traffic is let through below. . PHOTO: WARRICK HAMILTON
From Monday, people travelling between Cromwell and Queenstown may spot a bit of activity high above them, all with the aim of keeping motorists safe.

The NZ Transport Agency’s Nevis Bluff spring safety programme will start next week and run until Friday, November 12.

Abseilers would inspect and remove any loose rock on the bluff rock face.

Transport agency Central Otago maintenance contract manager Mark Stewart said people should factor in short delays, of up to 10 minutes, on weekdays until the work was completed.

Subject to weather conditions the work would run for two weeks between 8am and 5pm.

“People stopped in their cars may be able to see abseilers inspecting and removing loose rock on the Nevis Bluff rock face,” Mr Stewart said.

“We need to ensure the road below is clear when rocks are being dropped or loosened.”

The work is being done by the Aspiring Highways team, on behalf of the transport agency.

“The Nevis Bluff is a site we regularly inspect, monitor and stabilise as part of our commitment to provide a safe, accessible highway network.’’

Autumn and spring were chosen for the programme because traffic volumes were at their lowest then, he said.

“We appreciate everyone’s understanding for any delays that they may encounter and thank them for following the temporary, lowered speeds which are for their safety and the safety of our workers,” Mr Stewart said.

The Nevis Bluff is about halfway between Cromwell and Queenstown — 25 minutes from Cromwell, 35 minutes from Queenstown — above the Kawarau River.

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