UPDATED 3.41pm: State Highway 29 near the Ruahihi Bluffs is now open to one lane.
Contractors are working to remove a large free standing column of loose rocks from above the highway and had closed a section of the highway for most of the day.
The NZ Transport Agency advises the highway west of Tauranga will be closed for most of the weekend from 7am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The highway will remain open to one lane until this weekend’s work starts.
It is expected the state highway will be fully reopened on Sunday night when the blasting work to remove the loose large rock is completed.
Bay of Plenty state highways manager Brett Gliddon says a detour is through Poripori Road.
"Motorists are advised it will add an additional 30 minutes to journey time and drivers are being advised to allow for the additional travel time or where possible use alternate state highway routes - such as SH2 if travelling between Tauranga and Auckland or SH36 and SH5 if heading west towards the South Waikato and Taupo area."