Another stormy weekend for Tararua roads

Published 30 Jun 2023

Last week our district faced another challenging weekend of weather. Road crews were flat out clearing fallen trees and slips, and our call-centre received 13 roading-related requests for service.

Damage from the weekend storms has spread across areas where temporary repairs were made after the cyclone, and new damage has been identified. This new damage has been added to the list of recovery work that needs to be done.
This winter will continue to be challenging for the district as we work towards rebuilding our infrastructure. If you notice any damage to the network, please report it to us so that we can focus our attention on the most urgent needs.

Here is an update on some of the roading issues which our teams are working on:

Riverdale Road – Dannevirke

Heavy rains last week caused the shoulder of Riverdale Road to deteriorate further, due to erosion of the embankments of the Mangatera stream 20 meters below the road.

If the stream is not stopped from eroding the bank, it will deteriorate significantly and affect the road. To prevent this from happening, our engineer has been developing a short-term plan to reduce erosion at the water level, and protect the bank.

Marainanga Gorge
This weekend’s rain was the first real test of the temporary road which is currently being constructed in the Marainanga Gorge, near Ākitio. The road has been built up to 3 meters above the base water level, and it has so far been able to withstand the increased river flows.

The closest Horizons monitoring station downstream of the gorge has reported that the river level was 600mm higher than it was during Cyclone Gabrielle. This provides confidence that the temporary road will be able to withstand future flooding events.

The detailed design of the temporary road is still being finalised, but we expect it to be completed in upcoming three weeks. Once the design is finalised, we will begin the process of clearing the road and making it safe for traffic.

We are grateful for the support of the local community during this project, and we look forward to reopening the gorge to all traffic as soon as possible.

Laws Road bridge
High river levels have caused damage to the Laws Road bridge. The water is sucking away the fill material from the western side of the bridge, which is making it unstable. To fix this, rip-rap rock protection will be put in place to channel the water away from the bridge abutment. This work is included in our funding application for recovery from the recent floods.