Urgent repairs needed after destructive weather hits Wairarapa thoroughfare

3:53 pm on 17 April 2020

Heavy rain and high swells have left South Wairarapa's Cape Palliser Rd in urgent need of repair.

Storm damage at Cape Palliser Rd, on the south Wairarapa coast.

Storm damage at Cape Palliser Rd, on the south Wairarapa coast. Photo: Supplied

The region's southern coastline was battered this week as the lower North Island was hit with the first heavy winds of autumn.

Water levels rose up to 6m onto Cape Palliser Rd, causing further damage to the island's southernmost thoroughfare.

However, although some roadworks are continuing in Wairarapa during lockdown, the urgent repair work will not be done on the coastal road until the restrictions are eased.

Euan Stitt of South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] said maintenance of roads and footpaths would be "fully operational as soon as permitted".

"Of course, if residents are aware of any damage or deterioration of roads over the lockdown period, particularly in remote areas, we would really appreciate it if they could let us know to allow quick and efficient programming of the repair works," he said.

'Work is being started immediately on grading unsealed roads to ensure there is a safe surface for road users post-lockdown. Street sweeping has continued during lockdown, and will continue, within the towns to manage autumn leaf fall."

New Zealand Transport Agency [NZTA] is continuing some maintenance of state highways in the area, and essential work continues throughout Masterton.

These include preparing roads for winter, and responding to incidents, such as slip clearing, traffic management, and safety work.

MDC's roading manager Kaine Jaquiery said the council and its main contractor Higgins are"strictly adhering to the government's principle and rules of what is possible under level 4".

"Work being done under Level 4 is not about taking advantage of empty roads, but doing essential maintenance, incident response, and repairs to ensure roads are safe and travel routes are maintained."

New guidelines are being developed by the Construction Health and Safety New Zealand [CHASNZ] group for safe return to the job for construction workers.

This includes measures for pre-planning work, documenting the health and safety of staff, ensuring safe physical distancing is maintained, cleaning of all plant, tools and vehicles.

and being able to quickly and accurately trace people should they come in contact with someone who contracts covid-19.

Roadworks in Carterton are dealt with by Ruamahanga Roads, a joint venture between Carterton and South Wairarapa District Council councils, and Fulton Hogan.

Carterton District Council chief Jane Davis said Ruamahanga Roads"is very keen to get stuck into a number of maintenance and renewal tasks that lockdown has delayed.

"When the lockdown is over expect to see very happy roading crews on the roading network of both councils."

NZTA's maintenance work in the region includes finishing line-markings, making minor repairs such as potholes and damaged guardrails, clearing drainage channels, sweeping the road, and inspecting roads to identify problem areas.

This work is being undertaken at multiple locations on State Highway 2, and SH53.

Regional transport systems manager Mark Owen said these essential works allowed NZTA's contractors to ensure the roads remain safe for all road users.

Owen asked people to be patient and considerate to roadworkers and to look out for their safety and wellbeing.

"If you see contractors on the roads during the shutdown period, please remember that they are carrying out vital work to keep us all safe.

"If you are using the roads during this period please remember to obey any temporary speed restrictions through roadworks to keep our workers safe."

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