Monday, July 15, 2024

Commitment to Coromandel peninsula reconnection

Transport Minister, Michael Wood says the Government is committed to reconnecting Coromandel peninsula as quickly as possible.

The Minister said Coromandel communities and businesses need certainty that the investment will be made to repair and rebuild State Highway 25A.

“Today I can give that commitment,” said Mr Wood.

He says a dedicated team of project managers and consulting engineers have been working tirelessly to find a solution.

“The Government has taken advice that a bridge will be the fastest, most resilient way forward and will commit the funding straight away.”

“This road is a lifeline for many people who travel across the peninsula to work or school. It also brings people from all over New Zealand onto the peninsula every summer, keeping businesses and the local economy afloat.”

Currently, increased travel time and cost is causing huge disruption.

“I want to reassure communities that the government will make every possible effort to get the road open as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Minister Wood.

He confirmed that Waka Kotahi has engaged with the construction industry and started the procurement process.

By early June, there will be a contractor ready to start construction, with completion estimated early next year, the Minister said.

“I know that for many in the community this will be a long time to wait to have this key connection restored. We’ve been working hard with the Thames-Coromandel District Council to repair and improve local roads ahead of winter and can confirm that the Tapu-Coroglen road will be open to light vehicles next month providing some extra connectivity across the peninsula. We’re also continuing work to repair and fully reopen other key roads such as SH25.”

“In the meantime, we’ll be working with local government and communities to develop a package of economic support to help businesses that usually rely on the direct route onto the peninsula to bring people onto the peninsula during the summer.

“We are acutely aware of the impact this road being closed has on businesses and will support them through this tough period.

“So far we’ve supported 400 businesses with grants up to $40,000, provided tax relief for impacted businesses, and will continue to work alongside Thames Coromandel District Council to support businesses. 

“We’re also supporting families through temporary accommodation services, and have provided Civil Defence payments to 2,421 people around the region.

“We’ll continue to work with the community and businesses to support them through the recovery and keep listening and exploring how we can provide further support as needed,” Mr Wood said.

Rebuild costs are still being finalised, however, the estimated cost is $30-40 million. The work is being funded through the Government’s $250 million top-up to the National Land Transport Programme fund to support the recovery.

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