21 Aug 2011

Fewer disruptions to Manawatu Gorge Rd - mayor

7:42 am on 21 August 2011

The Mayor of Palmerston North says significant improvements to the Manawatu Gorge Road mean there are fewer disruptive closures.

The section of State Highway 3 has been closed since Thursday night when heavy rain brought down about 1000 cubic metres of soil and debris, about 2km from the Ashhurst end of the gorge.

Helicopters have been dropping water on the hillside along the road to bring down loose debris so contractors can clear it with diggers. The road is expected to re-open by Friday.

Palmerston North mayor Jono Naylor says the the disruption to motorists when the road closes is not as frequent now, because of roading improvements, and people can always use alternative routes.

Mr Naylor says the road is the main route used by trucks between the Wairarapa and the Manawatu, while a lot of cars use the Pahiatua Track.