Scars on Tararua’s road network from this year’s storm events can still be seen around the district, although significant progress is being made on repairs to the damage.
Three significant weather events earlier in the year caused flooding, slips, fallen trees, bridge scour and road closures, resulting in more than $3.7M of damage to the Tararua District Council road network.
The Tararua Alliance is a partnership between Tararua District Council and Downer to manage the road network, and manager Chris Chapman says the events have added to an already busy year.
"Both the response during and immediately following these events, then the programmed repairs afterwards, took a huge amount of planning and coordination. We are lucky to have a very strong team, supported by wider expertise and sub-contractors to manage this effectively and efficiently. It will take time, but we will get there".
The vast majority of damage from the events has been repaired, with more than 500 of the 550+ faults identified following July’s storm completed. The remaining sites have been prioritised and will be repaired over the rest of Council’s 2017/18 financial year, including 18 sites requiring engineered fixes such as retaining walls.
Geotechnical investigations, surveying and design of the more complicated sites is well underway. The most significant sites being the large dropout on Riverdale Road, which is down to one lane with temporary traffic lights, and the large washout on Route 52, between Alfredton and Tiraumea.
Specialist geotechnical expertise was required at Riverdale Road, to ensure the permanent repair is robust and cost effective.
"We have received the final designs from our consultant, with work to construct the reinforced L-unit wall currently planned to begin before Christmas", Mr Chapman says.
The washout on Route 52 is also a complex site, with the existing failed culvert located more than 12 metres below road level. A temporary road constructed immediately following the event, enabled access for cars and the school bus while the permanent repair was constructed. However ongoing wet weather has caused delays with the material excavated being highly susceptible to moisture.
"Our plan has always been to restore the road by Christmas, however we acknowledge the challenges and increased costs this presents to the agricultural sector so we are currently improving the temporary road to enable truck use".
Members of the public are asked to call Council’s customer services on 06 374 4080 for any further information.