Route 52 project nearing completion

13 May 2024

“Huarahi Tūhono - the road that connects Weber to Wimbledon” started in January 2021 and is nearing the final stages, with 3,120m of road sealed across eight sites in the past five months. The bulk of the earthworks were completed before Christmas, and the focus shifted to pavement construction.

Tararua Alliance Capital Works Manager Andrew Desmond says, “Our strategy to complete earthworks across the site then allow them a winter to settle has paid dividends. Isolated areas where land movement has occurred have had additional drainage works to assist with land stabilisation before building the final pavement layers.”

Regular drivers of the rural route will have seen a lot of activity over the past few months and will now be experiencing fewer hold ups. “There are three emergency works sites that are down to one lane, and we are working to restore the road to two lanes by the end of June. In some places, we are dealing with groundwater 11 metres below the road and are addressing some historical road construction and drainage issues.”

The project has spent $14 million of the budget to date, which was originally $14.6 million. The project was also allocated $2 million in October 2023 for additional earthworks, drainage and reseal works. Tararua District Council Group Manager - Infrastructure, Hamish Featonby, notes the additional funding goes a long way to future proof the project, “this extra funding, from Kānoa, the government’s Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, will enable us to complete the project to the initial scope while adding additional resilience and safety improvements.” The project is on track for completion with reseals scheduled for November.