One year after the destructive weather event that severely damaged Marlborough’s Roads, significant progress is being made on restoring the network, Marlborough District Council said today.
Marlborough Roads Manager, Steve Murrin, says the scale of damage from last year’s event was unprecedented.
“This is the second largest local road recovery project in New Zealand, after the Christchurch Earthquake,” Mr Murrin said.
“There was 460km of road damaged during the event. That’s the distance between Blenheim and Timaru.”
Immediately after the storm, the focus was on stabilising the sites and making the roads safe for residents as safely and quickly as possible.
“So far, there has been over 160,000 hours spent recovering Marlborough’s Roads,” Mr Murrin said.
“All 350kms of roads made unpassable by the storm are now open to at least controlled access, and 80 per cent of the 1,600 faults have been repaired,” he said.
Another milestone reached recently is the handing over of the Pelorus Zone (Central Sounds) to Marlborough Roads.
“There are other significant sections of road about to be handed back, as their recovery is completed.”
He says there is still work to be done to return the roads to their previous standard.
“The full programme of recovery works is due to be finished in June 2023. However, as this week has shown, we have to be mindful of bad weather and its potential to cause further damage”, Mr Murrin said.
“Our attention now is on the complex sites that have required considerable design, including over 200 underslips.”
While these works continue, the barge subsidy will increase for those with welfare needs.
Council’s Recovery Manager, Dean Heiford said to further support the Outer Sounds community, the barge subsidy will be increased to 50%.
“The increased subsidy will be available on barge services from Monday to Wednesday, following feedback we received from the Outer Sounds’ farming community,” Mr Heiford said.
“The services eligible for the welfare subsidy are the New Zealand post delivery service, on-farm supplies and farm-related welfare including; stock movements, stock feed, fertiliser and fuel.”
Johnson’s Barge Services Ltd will continue to manage barge bookings and access to the subsidy.
“We want to thank the affected communities for their support and patience while the repair work is completed,” Mr Heiford said.