Update on Route 52

Friday, 21 July 2017, 4:40pm

Route 52 between Weber and Wimbledon will be open to all vehicles by the end of today (Friday 21 July). There is still work remaining to be completed at the site to stabilise/protect some of the surrounding area, however the bridge abutment work will be finished to enable reopening of the road in time for the weekend.

Route 52 between Tiraumea and Alfredton will be open to LIGHT VEHICLES ONLY by the end of the day tomorrow (Saturday 22 July). A one-way temporary road has been constructed through the paddock (see photo). Many thanks to the landowner for this. The temporary road is not suitable for heavy vehicles and additional signs will be installed at Pongaroa and Alfredton next week. Further investigation and design of a permanent repair will continue.

Take care while travelling over the weekend.

Route 52 Closed in North and South

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Heavy rainfall over Thursday and Friday has closed Route 52 in two places.  

A major wash-out was revealed on Friday when flood waters subsided between Alfredton and Tiraumea, while serious damage has occurred in the north to a bridge abutment between Weber and Wimbledon.

Tararua Alliance roading engineers are assessing the location on Route 52 near Saunders Road, at Tiraumea in the southern rural Tararua District.  Possible solutions are being investigated to reopen the road under urgency, with a temporary bailey bridge as one option.  

Council estimates 50 rural households are directly affected in the south.  Route 52 between Weber and Wimbledon also remains closed, due to an abutment washout at Cochranes Bridge. This will be reassessed on Monday.  More information on options and timing will be made available next week.

Both locations will result in the need for road users to take diversions using other roads, adding significant travel time to their journeys.  This will include the school buses following the school holidays.  Tararua District Council Acting Chief Executive, Peter Wimsett said, “This will be a significant inconvenience to many people in the areas and so the matters are being addressed with urgency.”  Temporary remedial options will take many days and up to several weeks for safe viable solutions to be completed.  “Any repairs will need to minimise potential damage from further storm events.” Mr Wimsett advised.  “The locations are susceptible to further erosion, which also needs to be addressed when we consider temporary or permanent solutions.”

Chris Chapman, Tararua Alliance Manager, said, “The weather event over Thursday and Friday caused significant damage to roads across the district. Over 100 customer requests were received and processed over a 24 hour period and several hundred faults have been identified, including surface flooding, slips, dropouts, and full road washouts.  Roads were closed and the Tararua Alliance has many crews, including subcontractors, working hard to make roads safe where possible.”

Saturated ground conditions and forecast rain may result in further slips across the district.  Extra care should be taken when travelling as the clean-up work continues.

Some roads still remain closed and the district road status will be kept updated on Tararua District Council website:

Route 52 is a former state highway linking eastern communities through the rural Tararua. It is a tourism link and can act as an alternate route on the east coast.




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