Workers stabilise slip; traffic delays to ease

The Deadman’s Point slip over State Highway 8 near Cromwell as ‘‘benching’’ to stabilise it...
The Deadman’s Point slip over State Highway 8 near Cromwell as ‘‘benching’’ to stabilise it continued yesterday. PHOTO: NZ TRANSPORT AGENCY
The large slip looming above State Highway 8 near Deadman’s Point Bridge at Cromwell has been all but stabilised two weeks after the earth moved.

The slip, measuring about 30m long, 20m wide, and 15m deep, led to delays and some traffic restrictions, with the road down to one lane at times and controls in place.

NZ Transport Agency maintenance contract manager Mark Stewart said yesterday helicopters had been used to sluice the slope over the highway to bring down loose material. Diggers and an abseiling team then dislodged fissured rocks to make the slip safe.

Crews had been able to "bench" the slopes above the road to create landing areas for rock and reduce the energy of any of the schist rock making its way to the ground, where there was a rockfall fence and a line of containers protecting road users.

That benching work would continue throughout this week, Mr Stewart said.

"The work focus now is about moving the slip material safely to the ground.

"In the following weeks, the rocks will be moved off site and the rockfall debris fence reinstalled, before we remove the container barriers."

Speed restrictions and road cones would remain in place until the catch fence was fully restored and the containers removed in about a fortnight.

However, delays for road users were now much shorter than they had been in the past fortnight.

"Given the significance of this stretch of highway in Central Otago, along the Cromwell Gorge, with no comparable detour route, it will be good to have this road stabilised and back to business as usual in a fortnight or so," Mr Stewart said.


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