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Securing funding key to restoring local roading network

road

High level estimates indicate it could cost $50 million to repair the damage caused to Wairoa’s roading network during the end of March and April weather events.

With hundreds of slips to clear, and 93 dropouts to reinstate, repair work is expected to be a massive undertaking.

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna urged members of the public to be patient while the necessary processes are followed to repair Wairoa’s roading network.

“A key part of moving forward is securing funding. We have been working very closely with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency representatives who have been regularly visiting to assess the damage. They have acknowledged that our district has been extensively damaged, and that Wairoa has one of the most challenging roading networks in New Zealand with 871 km of roading and 561km of this unsealed.

“Accessibility is the priority which is why Council has front footed payment for work like the temporary design for the Te Reinga Bridge repair. However, the magnitude of the damage and the work needed across the district means we have to take a planned approach and work with our funding partner to hopefully receive the highest amount of external funding available.

“While we are doing what we can with clean-up work, realistically we need to wait for budgets, design approval and settled weather before we can physically start on our reinstatement plan.

“We would really hope we will have a budget to work from and design work completed in time to begin physical works in the new spring/summer construction period.

“We need to be realistic, and even the recent 50mm of rainfall, added to the already saturated ground, prevented us from making any roading progress.

“We know people are frustrated that we are not able to make as much progress as we would like, but we are doing everything we can to support the best outcomes for our district.

“In the meantime, thank you to everyone for your support and patience. The amount of damage we sustained is huge and therefore planning to repair it is also a huge process.

“Please remember if you see new slips, dropouts or other roading damage please let us know by phoning the Council on 838 7309 or heading online and filling out a customer service request.”

13 June 2022

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