Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail say work is progressing on draining the Omoto slip site, with a drill rig now on site to undertake drainage of water from the slip surface.
The rig will be installing boreholes today to monitor groundwater, before starting the drainage drilling later this week.
“Movement at the slip has steadied over the last week, however we continue to regularly monitor ground movement to ensure the safety of our workers,” says Moira Whinham, Maintenance Contract Manager for the Transport Agency on the West Coast.
“We are monitoring the weather forecast over the next 10 days and continually assessing what impact it may have on our work.
“This stage of drilling work is expected to be complete by Monday 18 November, weather dependant, and we will be able to share more details of what our next steps will be after that.
“We appreciate the disruption and inconvenience this is causing, particularly to residents in Kaiata and Dobson, and ask for their continued patience while we work on a robust repair strategy,” Ms Whinham says.
“The Transport Agency is working closely with KiwiRail to ensure that we can provide long-term security for both the state highway and rail link.”
KiwiRail South Island General Operations Manager Jeanine Benson says “KiwiRail knows how important this is for the West Coast and our customers there, and we are determined to resume running the world-class TranzAlpine service all the way to Greymouth, and to get our customers’ freight onto rail.
Until the repairs are completed the TranzAlpine will continue to run between Christchurch and Arthur’s Pass, with passengers bussed between there and Greymouth.