Kaikoura Slip is A Monster


As much as 30,000 cubic metres of debris may have come down with the slip south of Kaikoura, blocking road and rail for days.

The full job will take about 5,000 truck movements and another couple of days to remove enough material to reopen one lane of the highway to traffic on Thursday.

Once the rail line is cleared, temporary repairs can begin, and it is expected to reopen on Friday.

NZTA’s Peter Connors says crews are putting in a lot of effort to stabilise the face 100 metres above the road. This is important to minimise the risk of further slips disrupting road and rail transport after the route is re-opened. Those crews are now working around the clock.

NZTA was working with KiwiRail to find a long term solution to help ensure on-going stability of the slip site.

Mr Connors says clearing the slip and stabilising the face is a huge task which must be carried out in a careful and controlled way that does not put the safety of those working on the site at risk.

“The removal of material from the slip should accelerate as the excavators work their way down the slip face. Care has to be taking not to remove too much material from the bottom of the slip to maintain the working platform for the excavators. Our crews will work around the clock until the slip is cleared.”

It is still on track to re-open at least one lane of State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura to traffic on Thursday.

KiwiRail is continuing to move freight by road between Blenheim and Christchurch while the Main North Line remains closed by a large slip south of Kaikoura. The freight being moved is general containerized goods, including food bound for supermarket shelves in Christchurch. In the first few days, KiwiRail has transported approximately 60 containers south using up to 40 trucks.

The TranzCoastal passenger service between Picton and Christchurch remains suspended.

A detour to Christchurch via Route 70 - the inland Kaikoura Route - is available for light vehicles, as well as buses and trucks weighing less than 22 tonnes and not towing trailers.

This road is not suitable for heavier and longer vehicles, which must to continue using State Highway State Highway 63 through the Wairau Valley and State Highway7 through the Lewis Pass to travel south to Christchurch.




  1. Bryan says:

    Great effort by all concerned .Keep up the good work,it is appreciated by a lot of people.


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