31 May 2012

Manawatu Gorge lane reopens after nine months

9:06 pm on 31 May 2012

One lane of the Manawatu Gorge has reopened on Thursday afternoon.

The gorge is the primary link between Manawatu and Hawke's Bay and has been closed since August last year due to massive landslides.

The Manawatu region has haemorrhaged money during the closure, with the local economic development agency putting the losses at $62,000 a day.

The Transport Agency opened State Highway 3 for motorists travelling from Woodville towards Ashhurst about 4pm.

Motorists travelling the other way will have to continue to use the Saddle Road.

Truck driver Marsh Graham, who was one of the first to drive through, says the reopening is a huge relief, telling Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme the closure has cost him $10,000, including higher fuel and tyre costs.