Waitaki App

Single lane open on slip-affected road by weekend, council hopes

Waitaki App

Staff Reporter

07 June 2024, 12:38 AM

Single lane open on slip-affected road by weekend, council hopesPrecariously balanced rocks will be professionally "shoved off" today, before the Livingstone-Duntroon Road is re-opened to traffic. Photo: supplied

The Livingstone-Duntroon Road, closed by rockfall, should have a single lane open to traffic by the weekend, Waitaki District Council says.

An unexplained slip of large rocks and soil fell onto a 30-40 metre section of the road between State Highway 83 and Settlement Road, overnight on Monday. A section of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail has also been affected.

Assessments were carried out by a Geotech engineer and a historical specialist earlier this week, and barring potential archaeological significance of fossils within the limestone, it is likely there will be a single lane open by Friday evening, the council said in a statement.

“This is anticipated to be a priority give-way single lane, to allow traffic to flow in both directions.”

Ngāi Tahu, the owners of the site, and Tūhura Otago Museum have requested to be notified if any rock art or fossilised remains emerge during the clearance of the fall, and for these to be protected as much as possible.

The council and contractors have targeted the end of next week for the full reopening of the road.

“We understand the community’s frustration about the closure, but the nature of this rockfall requires caution and care to ensure the road can be opened with any potential hazards removed or secured,” the statement said.

Large rocks, which remain precariously balanced on a ledge, will be professionally “shoved off” today, using inflatable bladders, while the road remains closed to all traffic.

Until the road re-opens the following diversions remain in place: The A2O is currently being rerouted along Earthquakes Road to rejoin the trail beyond the rock-fall site. This is not a sealed road, so motor vehicle traffic is discouraged.

Road traffic is encouraged to take the Georgetown – Ngapara road as a diversion to reach Elephant Rocks, Livingstone and other areas usually accessible by the Duntroon-Livingstone Road.

Council will provide further information regarding the road re-opening when available.