Omoto, SH7, near Greymouth, could open to single-lane traffic next week

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 15, 2019

Drainage work at a large landslide site near Greymouth is having a positive effect, says the NZ Transport Agency.

A landslide at Omoto closed SH7 a month ago between Greymouth and Stillwater to road traffic and also closed the KiwiRail line into Greymouth.

Land movement has almost ceased in recent days, despite ongoing rainfall, and the work completed at the site has stabilised the slip enough for a construction road to be built above the existing highway alignment.

A number of horizontal drainage holes have now been completed by the drilling rig, as well as piezometers installed to measure groundwater pressure.

“More drainage holes are being drilled to help drain more of the slip and we have started rebuilding the road and rail formation,” says Moira Whinham, NZTA maintenance contract manager on the West Coast. 

“Our best-case scenario is to reopen one lane of highway, unsealed, mid next week, possibly Wednesday 20 November,” she says. “We need to keep up close monitoring of the site and people need to bear in mind that permanent repairs on this site are still to come. It will be a slightly slower trip into Greymouth for a few more months but it is a relatively short stretch of highway so will have minimal effect upon road users.”

Every effort is being made with KiwiRail and the NZTA to ensure access will be maintained during permanent repairs.

KiwiRail Group chief executive Greg Miller said KiwiRail was committed to the West Coast, to restoring crucial freight services for customers and to restoring the TranzAlpine train service to terminate at Greymouth.