Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Govt pledges $22m to West Coast roads recovery

The Government today pledged $22 million across 18 projects to improve the future resilience of storm-hit roads in the West Coast.

Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins said a dedicated Transport Resilience Fund has been established for early preventative works to protect the state highway network from future severe weather disruption.

Roads in the region that will receive funding from the Transport Resilience Fund are:

  • SH6 Gates of Haast river erosion
  • SH6 Wanganui River Protection
  • SH6 Whataroa River Protection
  • SH73 Rock Shelter DSA and Strengthening
  • SH73 Otira River Bridge Abutment Protection
  • SH6 Buller Gorge Rock Scaling
  • SH6 Douglas Culvert No.2 Replacement
  • Cascade Corner
  • Cobden Hill West
  • Depot Creek
  • Ormon Falls
  • East of McGraths Corner
  • McGraths Corner
  • Whites Bridge West Approach
  • Rocky Point
  • SH73 Candys Bend Scouring
  • SH6 Meybille Bay Slip
  • SH6 Epitaph Slip – Remote Monitoring­­­­­­

The Haast to Hawea section of SH6 has also been identified by Waka Kotahi as a high priority for improving the overall resilience of the state highway corridor, with planning work programmed for the 2024-27 NLTP period.

“State Highway 6 is prone to closures from slips, rock falls, and flooding. Additionally, the West Coast is susceptible to adverse weather events,” Mr Hipkins said.

“Many roads in the region have experienced repeated extreme weather events in recent years. We need to repair our state highways after these events and also build greater resilience so they’re less affected in the future.

“Safer and more resilient roads will also help support tourism on the West Coast – a key industry for the region and for many locals.

“In this year’s budget we established the $419 million Transport Resilience Fund to support these investments that support our region’s recovery.”

The Prime Minister said that investing in resilience created long-term savings, while also ensuring communities weren’t left isolated after extreme weather.

“In this year’s budget we set aside $6 billion in funding to support the implementation of a National Resilience Plan. I can confirm that projects in the top of the south will be considered for funding as part of this ongoing work,” he said.

“No region can foot the bill for building transport resilience on their own. That’s why the Government is coming to the table to support regions with a range of fund to help them recover.”

Associate Transport Minister, Damien O’Connor said the Government was absolutely committed to the region’s recovery.

“We know severe weather events will be an ongoing challenge and West Coast highways need to be resilient. This funding will repair vulnerable points in the road network to help mitigate the risk of them failing in future storms or other natural hazards,” the Minister said.

“We are committed to support the region to rebuild and build back stronger from the challenges of recent times.”

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