Tararua district roading round-up

Published 09 Oct 2023

October typically heralds the start of the roading construction season but the weather isn’t on our side just yet. The transport team at Tararua Alliance is busy working through the long list of sites on our rural roads requiring emergency works after Cyclone Gabrielle, while in the towns, regular road maintenance is ongoing and we are preparing for the season’s pavement rehabilitation renewals.

The effect of Cyclone Gabrielle on our day to day mahi remains significant. Emergency works present a unique resourcing challenge – repairing roads, bridges and culverts that have been hammered by nature requires specialist engineering expertise and once a site is at the construction stage, we need experienced heavy machinery operators who can work safely in challenging terrain. To boost our resources to get this important work done as quickly and safely as possible, we have gone out to tender for a panel of contractors to assist the Tararua Alliance with the Emergency Works programme.


Road Works - Route 52, Wimbeldon Gorge
One site getting underway next week is a 65m long and 5m deep retaining wall on Route 52 west of Wimbledon, to fix a large dropout. Other complex works include alternative access options being assessed for Rakaiatai Road if the bridge can’t be replaced and options are being considered for Otanga Road, which is still closed. To put the workload into context, of the current roading faults that are due to Cyclone Gabrielle, 82 are high complexity requiring engineering and design and 431 are medium complexity involving some engineering.

Pavement rehabilitation River Road, Weber Road, Route 52 and Top Grass Road
To business as usual, sections of River Road, Weber Road, Route 52 and Top Grass Road are set to receive pavement rehabilitation this season. Through our renewals programme we methodically review all the roads in our network – which at close to 2,000kms is one of the largest roading districts in the country. If it sometimes seems like it’s taking a while for us to get to your area, there is a system and roads are prioritised by need.

Funding appliation for new footpaths in Woodville
We are crossing fingers about a project that would encourage people to get out and about in Woodville. Tararua District Council, the Tararua Alliance and Downer have a funding application with Waka Kotahi for $2 million to fund new footpaths for Woodville, through the Transport Choices fund.

Transport Choices is part of the Government’s Climate Emergency Response Fund to stimulate public investment on climate-related initiatives to mitigate the impact of climate change on the transport network. If approved, this funding would provide more foothpaths in Woodville to encourage people to walk, cycle, scooter, skate or take a mobility vehicle – reducing local trips in cars.
Woodville was identified as a suitable candidate for the upgrades due to the rapid growth of the town and the fact that a significant part of the town has streets with only one, or no footpaths. We hope to hear more about this exciting project in the near future and will keep the community informed.