Slips may be beyond repair

A Goodwood Rd resident is concerned that a slip-damaged, one-lane section of the road is an accident waiting to happen.

However, the Waitaki District Council says ''slips cannot always be tamed''.

One person was critically injured last week after a truck and car collided at Wairunga, about 4km south of Palmerston, and as emergency services worked on State Highway 1, traffic was diverted along Goodwood Rd.

Scott Clearwater went for a look at the stretch of road, closed for years, and said he nearly witnessed another serious crash.

He called the council to register his concern while the detour was in place.

''When I was talking to the council lady, I started swearing because there was a truck and trailer unit and a bus just about had a major head-on'', he said.

''They sort of come around a blind corner and then 'bang', straight into one lane.

''I ended up ringing 111 and got a police officer there to divert the traffic, because there was going to be a major crash on it.''

Council roading manager Mike Harrison said the slip at Goodwood Rd was one of five ''that have accelerated slumping since an event in July 2017 which had caused minor slippages at the sites'', and was not yet on a council work programme for repair.

There were also three sites on Horse Range Rd and one on Waianakarua Rd.

''The slips are similar in nature to Moeraki's Haven St, being deep-seated natural slip faces,'' he wrote in an email response.

''Geotechnical engineers have been assigned to investigate each slip and supply a design of works required to return the road to its original condition, and this work is in progress.

''The attempts to reinstate Haven St in the past show that the slips cannot always be tamed, and alternative solutions at these other five sites need to be considered. While investigation and design continues, in the meantime all sites are passable and are constantly monitored and filled when required by the roading maintenance contractor.

''The repair timeframe remains open, while we agree on the solution design options, and understand the costs and risk. Any works on the drop outs may not solve the issue, so there is that risk there as well.''

A traffic count taken in May last year showed an average of 37 vehicles used the section of road each day.

The fault and repair was ''not simple'', he said, and would not be ''a one-step fix''.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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