Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Slip on main road into Wellington

This is SH1, one of only two roads, situated on an earthquake faultline, into the capital.

Ngauranga Gorge slip causing 'major delays'

11 July, 2017

A landslide in Ngauranga Gorge is causing "major delays" for motorists and the Transport Agency (NZTA) says southbound lanes would remain closed until at least late this evening.

South bound traffic backed up because of the slip. South bound traffic has backed up because of the slip in Ngauranga Gorge. Photo: RNZ / Colette Jansen

The slip is blocking the southbound lanes of State Highway 1 north of Wellington.
Motorists should detour through SH58 at Paremata and then onto SH2 at the Western Hutt Road, the Transport Agency said.

It said two northbound lane were also closed to allow contractors to access the area, and motorists should expect delays until the debris was cleared.

However, it said it hoped to reopened one more northbound lane in time for rush our.

Newlands, Johnsonville and Tawa on-ramps were closed in the meantime.

Northbound traffic backed up at the base of the gorge as rush hour approaches. Northbound traffic backed up at the base of the gorge as rush hour approaches. Photo: RNZ / Michael Cropp

Wellington City Council has warned that extensive traffic delays are occurring in the Ngaio, Khandallah, Johnsonville and Tawa as traffic is diverted away from the gorge.

Traffic was bumper-to-bumper on Middleton Road in the Churton Park area as of 2pm.

It said motorist should expect "major delays" and to put off their commute and avoid travel if possible.

Wellington Live posted a video to Facebook from Asispal Sandhu, which it said showed the moment the landslide happened:

NZTA spokesperson Mark Owen said it was hoped at least one lane could be reopened to morning traffic, but this would be subject to geotechnical safety advice.

"We know this is a huge disruption for people and our crews are working hard to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. In the meantime we're asking people to plan head."

He said the Fire Service would be sluicing water onto the slip to remove any loose material, and geotechnical engineers were assessing the area.

RNZ reporter Kate Gudsell said her trip into work from Titahi Bay this afternoon took nearly 2 hours when it normally would be a 25-minute journey.

Ngauranga Gorge slip.Photo: RNZ / Colette Jansen

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