Recovery roading update

25 March  2024

There’s a two-fold sense of urgency driving the roading recovery in March – getting fit for purpose designs completed appropriate to the Tararua roading network while balancing the remaining fine weather and available resources. With over 500 medium and high complexity sites in the programme, it’s all about logistics, resourcing and funding.

Tararua Alliance Capital Works Manager Andrew Desmond says the subcontractor supply panel established this year is working well and is a valued piece of the recovery picture: “Quite simply we couldn’t get through this volume of work without our subcontractors.”

Crews are completing emergency earthworks and pavement repairs across the district, including sites on River Road, Mangaone Valley Road, Weber Road and Owahanga Road.

The next projects off the blocks are several high complexity projects that have progressed to the tender stage, including a ‘brushwall’ on Ormondville- Te Uri Road at the 7km mark, a retaining wall on Route 52 section 109, mechanically stabilised earth walls on Route 52 at the 3km and 12km marks, and the submission period has recently closed for the design/build of a new Rakaiatai bridge. At Otanga Road additional ground testing has been undertaken to assess the suitability of a structure upstream of the current damaged culvert. These results are being analysed by the geotechnical engineer and the results of that will determine next steps. There will also be minor repairs along Maunga Road in the coming weeks.

Tararua District Council Infrastructure Manager Hamish Featonby says none of this would be possible without the 100% funding the Tararua District has received to date from NZTA Waka Kotahi. “We have updated our current funding submission to reflect the pricing of works that are ready to go and after adjusting for inflation this is sitting at $45.27m for the recovery phase. This brings the total application for the Tararua District roading recovery to $90,242,649.” Over the coming months, as designs are completed and actual costs are known, the total cost to repair the network might change.

Looking ahead, Andrew says the current funding application is based on the remaining recovery being phased over the coming three financial years, with critical works happening first. “We are phasing work to be carried out over a three-year period with intensive work over the coming year fixing critical issues, then moving on to address the root cause issues that lead to high-cost damage across the network.

“This is realistic when you look at the likelihood of future storm events that regularly impact the Tararua District, along with what’s involved with the medium and high complexity sites and the engineering, design, and consent phases they need to go through.”

“We anticipate having a response to our existing funding application before the start of the next construction season,” Andrew says.