5 Oct 2019

Whanganui mayor would like 'short term' fix for SH4 collapse

7:31 pm on 5 October 2019

Whanganui's mayor is hoping for a quick fix at the very least, as a huge slip closes State Highway 4 north of the city.

The landslip that has wiped out part of the Whanganui-Raetihi road.

The landslip that has wiped out part of the Whanganui-Raetihi road. Photo: Supplied / Mark Brimblecombe Photography

A 400 metre stretch of State Highway 4 between Whanganui and Raetihi in the lower North Island has collapsed and locals face detours of up to an hour to get between Raetihi and Whanganui.

The Mayor, Hamish McDouall said a temporary solution is needed.

"I know NZTA were looking at a wider piece of work realigning the Parapara Road, that needs to keep going, but in the short term a reinstatement, whatever that is, while they look at State Highway 4 and how best to do that."

Mr McDouall said it was anybody's guess as to how long it would take to repair the highway.

He said most tourists use SH3 but visitors will have problems getting to the skifields if the road is not repaired before next winter.

Mr McDouall said the damaged road will also put pressure on the movement of freight.

National Road Carriers chief executive Tom Cloke told Checkpoint the area looked like a bomb site and that the fix would take a long time and likely have a huge impact on the local economy. He said the rebuild would be likely to take years rather than months.