The key highway between the west coast and Canterbury will remain closed for another night

The rock shelter of the Otira viaduct, where the landslide occurred.  (File photo)


The rock shelter of the Otira viaduct, where the landslide occurred. (File photo)

A key highway between the West Coast and Canterbury will be closed for another day as teams work to eliminate a landslide.

State Highway 73 was closed mid-afternoon Monday due to a rock shelter slide on the west side of Arthur’s Pass.

The equipment had landed beyond the shelter, making it unsafe for traffic, Waka Kotahi maintenance contract manager Moira Whinham said earlier. Thing.

She said on Tuesday that scree and rocks from the steep slope above the shelter continued to fall with the rain, blocking the lower end of the road.

* Arthur’s Pass motorway closed at night by sliding
* “Substantial” west coast landslide cleared, but heavy rains and strong winds continue
* Heavy rains could hamper work to reopen declining West Coast Highway

Depending on weather conditions in the area, a helicopter would be used to evacuate the slope throughout Tuesday, Whinham said.

“While the locks have reduced material at the edges of the slide, persistent heavy rains in the area are causing rockfalls in progress. The landslide will be reassessed [on Wednesday] once the weather has calmed down.

An update on the state of the highway was expected Wednesday around 10 a.m.

In the meantime, the slightly longer alternative route from Greymouth to Christchurch is via the Lewis Pass (SH7).

The rock shelter was built in 2001 after the completion of the Otira viaduct. It was built to protect road users and their vehicles from the rockfall and slips that regularly occur on this part of the winding road between the top of Arthur’s Pass and Otira.

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