A major slip in Wairarapa has closed sections of State Highway 53 between Featherston and Martinborough.
Waka Kotahi said the slip happened shortly before 3pm today and it was likely that the road between No 1 Line and Wards Line would be closed for a day or more.
There was a high risk of further slipping from the slope with heavy rain for later this week, and a large number of mature pine trees at risk of falling onto the road have to be removed, the transport agency said.
A diversion is available via Bidwills Cutting Road, near Greytown.
There is no access on SH53 from Featherston and the highway’s status will be assessed Thursday afternoon, Waka Kotahi said.
Waka Kotahi said traffic wardens would be on duty to direct vehicles and help those living in the closure zone access their properties.
Heavy rain forecast for Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
Waka Kotahi is asking people in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti to take extra care on the roads in the coming days as severe thunderstorms and heavy rain are expected today, tomorrow and Friday.
The transport company advises people to avoid unnecessary travel.
With the hard rain and storms that @MetService reports in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne both today and tomorrow, don’t forget to turn on your lights and increase your following distance. For more information, visit https://t.co/Ig5KbX0Z4U. ^EH https://t.co/zxfiGwjAj9
— Waka Kotahi NZTA Wellington (@WakaKotahiWgtn) September 21, 2022
Heavy rainfall can cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly, leading to road closures.
Driving conditions can also be dangerous with flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain.
Motorists should make sure they have a clean windshield inside and out, use their headlights, windshield wipers and windshield wipers.