Traffic has now started flowing on a key route in and out of Wellington’s largest suburb, Karori, after the route, Chaytor Street, was cut to one lane by a large slip.
Wellington City Council spokesperson Richard MacLean said while dump trucks are loaded with soil from the slip, the road could revert to one lane only on a stop/go basis for short period of less than 5 minutes a couple of more times in the early evening.
“The road should be fully back to two lanes for this evening’s rush hour,” MacLean said.
However, one of the other roads into Karori that has been closed by a slip, Birdwood Street, will stay closed for several more days until the slip is cleared.
The slips came down overnight following a weekend of wet weather. About 20 slips were reported around the city, council said.
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Sarah Melville said she heard “a muffled cracking” outside her Chaytor St home on Monday morning and immediately lost power.
“I went out onto the street and I could see the street lamp on the ground,” Melville said.
Melville estimated the slip came down shortly before 6am. As of 9.50am, Melville’s home was still without power but she said contractors had come to her door to tell her power should be back on in a couple of hours.
“The people out there are working as fast and hard as they can,” Melville said.
Sriram Mani of Wellington Electricity said Melville’s house was the only home without power in the area.
The site had been made safe but the company could only carry out repairs once the council had cleared the area, Mani said.
Matt Ramsey’s home was just above the slip that blocked Birdwood St in the early hours of Monday morning.
Ramsey said he was unaware of the slip until he came across it on his way into town.
“It must be just on the corner of our property. I’m nervous that if it continues it will start to impact us,” Ramsey said.
Birdwood St was closed for nearly two weeks in August after multiple slips. On Monday dirt and trees buried nearly three of the seventeen concrete barriers installed in the road to contain the slips.
Pedestrians could still access the area using the footpath.
Resident Joy Mills said it had been good having the barriers in place as it prevented the road being closed when smaller slips came down.
“It’s been quite frustrating, especially with the buses. I have no idea how to get to my normal bus,” Mills said.
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said a small slip was already overflowing the barrier at the same point at 11am on Sunday morning. “But that one there is a great deal more material,” they said.