Heavy congestion as Ngauranga Gorge slip delays continue

9:11 am on 12 July 2017

Traffic between Johnsonville and the Ngauranga Gorge remains congested, with a southbound lane still closed and a 50km/h speed limit in place following yesterday's slip.

A Transport Agency traffic camera shows heavy congestion heading south into Wellington at the Newlands onramp about 8.15am the morning after the slip.

A Transport Agency traffic camera shows heavy traffic heading south into Wellington at the Newlands on-ramp about 8.15am on Wednesday. Photo: NZTA

A slip covered all three southbound lanes on the stretch of SH1 north of Wellington yesterday. Two of the three northbound lanes were also closed for a time, keeping traffic at a crawl for nearly five hours.

Emergency work on the slip overnight has allowed all northbound and two southbound lanes to be re-opened, but the left-most southbound lane remains closed and southbound traffic is under a temporary 50km/h speed limit.

The Transport Agency said those driving into the capital should expect delays to continue through the week.

The agency's systems manager, Mark Owen, told Morning Report the workers moved as much of the loose material off the slipface overnight as they could.

"We do have one lane still blocked off as a bit of a safety buffer with a barrier, so just for people travelling in this morning, there is likely to be a delay - we've got two lanes open rather than three.

"Just to advise they will need to take extra time, particularly with the inclement weather."

The latest update from the Wellington Transport Operations Centre showed congestion along SH1 between Tawa and the Ngauranga interchange - the heaviest traffic in the region.

Slow queues were backed up beyond the Johnsonville onramp.

Nguaranga gorge

Workers spent the night carrying out emergency work on the slip. Photo: @NZTAWgtn

The slip yesterday was unusual in that it occurred when the weather was fine, however today rain and winds were pelting the region as snow closed many roads in the South Island.

A storm warning for Cook Strait, with swells of 5m to 7m expected, has also meant Interislander sailings are cancelled.

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